ccm Cross 0117
Friday May 27, 2016
Wild River Stables – Changing Gaits
Center City, Minnesota
ccm Cross #0117
GPS/DMS 45.5231° N, 92.7491° W
Additional pictures after the Testimony:
4076 cdd Wild River
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 17 Number 109
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11
“I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future” NCV Bible Paraphrase
“Hello, my name is Guy Kaufman and this is my Cross Testimony of how the Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with a second ranch to reach out and touch lives for Him.
It was May 1999 and I had just sold my Home. The Lord blessed me with $13,000 more than the asking price. So I decided I would spend the summer living out of my 1975 Winnebago RV. It was a great opportunity since I had less than one year of sobriety under my belt. I thought it best to live in State Parks where drinking was forbidden and not allowed. I worked for the local energy company as a meter reader and drove a company pickup back and forth to work. I chose State Parks within 50 miles of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota. It was May and I picked William O’Brian State Park near Stillwater, Minnesota for my home. But I didn’t fit in. A month later, in June, I moved to Wild River State Park a bit farther north. What I didn’t know at that time was the Lord was moving me to map out the rest of my life.
As I drove to Wild River State Park I came over a hill and headed down toward the river. The further down the hill I drove the larger my eyes got. There on my right overlooking the beautiful park entrance was Wild River Stables (WRS) and Trail Riding. As a young boy growing up, in the 1960s, who didn’t want to be a Cowboy. My heroes always were John Wayne, Roy Rogers and ‘The Rifleman’ Chuck Connors. Thoughts of horses and adventure flashed through my mind and here it was right before my eyes.
I was blessed over the next few days to have friends help me settle into the campground. And with little hesitation I headed over to WRS. I showed up with cowboy boots on, an authentic cowboy hat and wearing shorts — yes shorts! The owner was Hank Magnuson who met me with a smile and a hand shake. He asked me if I was a cowboy and I said, ‘a wannabe cowboy.’ We laughed and he put me on a Four-Year-Old Arab horse, named Shadow. Little did we know at the time that Jesus would use this specific horse, to not just change my life — but spearhead changes for hundreds of lives for Him. Hundreds we had not yet met.
I saddled up and headed out of the corral catching up to a group that was just heading out on the trail. I knew absolutely nothing about riding a horse but I was now on one and I was in heaven. I was living my childhood dream of being a Cowboy. And I had found my new addiction — riding horses.
Hank quickly became my Jesus mentor inviting me into his house for bible study with him and his children. That entire summer I rode and honed my skills on a horse. The more I rode the more I dreamed about partnering with horses to lead the lost to Jesus.
October came in a flash and it was time to move on for the soon to be harsh Minnesota winter. A campground is nowhere to be with mammoth snow drifts and temperatures 30+ below zero. But Hank continued to invite me over to his house for bible study and my relationship with Jesus grew stronger. The following spring Hank and his brother-in-law, Dave, helped me buy my first Horse, Dozer. We kept him at WRS where my daughter Amanda fell in Love with him.
The summer of 2000, Amanda riding Dozer and my son Chis on one of Hanks horses and me on Shadow — what a summer. A summer of hours of peace riding through the state park. Our hearts were captured by the park and the stables. We sensed that wherever we went from here this would always be home.
Later that summer Hank called me out of the blue and blessed me beyond my wildest dreams — he gave me Shadow. Wow what a blessing! As the years flew by and Shadow and I spent many hours out in the park, I would dream about partnering with horses to help set others free who were struggling with any kind of addiction.
June of 2004, Shadow, Dozer, my children and I started Changing Gaits (CGI), in Brook Park, Minnesota. Here we began to develop our programs for rehabilitation. I always stayed in contact with Hank no matter how busy we became. Seven years later — it was October 2011 before Shadow, Amanda, Dozer and I returned to WRS for a trail ride. Hank had retired but still owned WRS.
WOW — back again and the horses knew they were home — just like they never left. We ran in all the places they loved to run. CGI continued to grow and each summer we would trailer the horses back to Hanks at WRS riding into the park.
Last September (2015), Hank called and asked, ‘Why don’t you bring some horses over here permanently and restart trail riding and see what happens.’ Shadow, Dozer and nine of their friends had a busy 5 weeks introducing people to the trails of the park. Jesus had completely brought us full circle.
Hank and I began the process of expanding Changing Gaits at Wild River. Jeremiah 29:11 talks about the plans God has made for us with a future of Hope. Because it was the Lord’s will in our lives, everything popped into place. Shadow is now 20 years old with Dozer at 27 and Guy turning 56 in July. We have returned home to Wild River Stables, with 8 other horses and more to come as we get busy, to finish out the work God has called us to do.
My favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:31b ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ NKJV
August 31 is a special date in my life – my set free day from the bondages of alcohol – PTL! It’s my sober date.” Every year we celebrate what Jesus did in my life by setting me free from alcohol and drugs.
What the Cross means to me: The Cross is not an idol; it is a representation of what Jesus Christ did for me when he set me free from alcohol and drugs and all my sins.
We have come full circle. God has expanded CGI to bless others with trail rides at Wild River Stables for recovering addicts, physically abused and those in need. A huge thanks to Hank and a bigger THANK YOU to JESUS. Now we plant a Cross to ‘Declare Gods Glory’ and acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior for without the Lord none of this would have ever happened.
Pastor Bill, thank you for the opportunity to share our excitement for what the Lord has done for us by proudly displaying this Cross — so all who pass by will know that Jesus Christ is King in our lives.”
At ccm, each Cross we plant is a blessing which is provided by you, our readers. If the Holy Spirit is prompting you to help with this Cross please Click Here. And thank you for your prayer support as we continue planting Crosses for Jesus.
Prayer: Father thank you for places such as Changing Gaits and Wild River Stables where The Father, The Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are real and lives are set free from alcohol, drugs and other addictions. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!