ccm Cross 0119
Saturday September 17, 2016
Three Strand Horse Company
ccm Cross #0119
GPS/DMS 45.1600° N 92.9933° W
Additional photos after Testimony
4157 cdd Hope and Encouragement
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 17 Number 189
Today’s Author: Nancy from Three Strands Horse Company
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:11a
“Encourage each other and build each other up” NLT (Bible Paraphrase)
Although I always believed in Jesus, I wasn’t a follower. It wasn’t convenient; I’d have to give up too many things. My time, my identity, my lifestyle. Ed and I attended church “for the kids,” but we lost interest once they reached high school. But God got my attention when I came to the end of me, and my faith journey began.
Hello, my name is Nancy, and together with my husband Ed, this is our Cross Testimony of how Jesus Christ taught us to have hope and faith, and to bring hope and encouragement to those in need through using our horses for ministry.
Ed and I had a comfortable lifestyle; we’d built our dream farm and enjoyed our beautiful horses. Our three kids had left the nest and the future looked comfortable. We were not prepared for the financial collapse of 2008, nor the broken relationships in our marriage and family. We saw a counselor for marriage problems and he suggested that in the midst of difficult situations it was helpful to recite something comforting. Well, I remembered something from church liturgy: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” So I used that to get me though. A lot. Didn’t know it was Psalm 51. Didn’t know I was praying!
In early 2009, another unthinkable happened-Ed lost his job. At that time, I was also out of work. Suddenly we couldn’t afford our lifestyle, our farm. Panic, fear. All our security and success had been in our own abilities. When you come to the end of yourself, you start looking for God.
Ed and I found a church where the message was Bible-based and relevant. There were some very quiet car rides home after attending services. It was a time of deep searching. I wondered, “Is He really good?” “Does He really care?” “Who is Jesus-is he someone I can trust?” I wish I could name a date when I surrendered to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, but it was a process. Eventually, Ed and I were both baptized as a statement of surrender and obedience.
From 2009 to 2015, Ed experienced serial unemployment due to the economy. During that time, he was employed by six different companies and out of work for a total of two years. We learned to trust God and lean on him, even when things looked really bad. It was difficult. A mission trip to Haiti helped put into perspective how abundantly blessed we are, and that everything belongs to our Creator! Today, we’re still living on the farm-God’s farm-with God’s beautiful horses.
During these challenging years, the horses were always a source of peace and rejuvenation. Their powerful presence is restorative to wounded souls. A dream began to grow in me to somehow use the horses to bless others. In 2013, a “chance” meeting with a man who runs a Christian horse ministry led me to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, where I attended a three-day training workshop on using horses to mentor and encourage children and families. That was the beginning of Three Strands Horse Co. We chose that name based on Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
We learned that it’s not about stuff, or accomplishments, but about relationships. Relationships with God and with each other. It’s about love. We’re all “in-process” and meant to become more Christ-like. The difficult circumstances we asked God to change where the very circumstances God used to change us. He loves us that much. Prayers answered.
At Three Strands Horse Co., we use horses to spur hope and encouragement in families, couples, individuals and children through the power of the Holy Spirit. There is an amazing connection between horses and humans that engages, empowers, and inspires confidence and communication. The sessions are organized around the client’s needs and comfort level. We one-on-one mentor children while teaching them horse care and responsibility as well as riding. Adults and groups are led in specifically designed exercises though a practice called Equine Assisted Learning/Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, motivating the participants to personal discovery and growth in Jesus.
Communication in relationships, particularly in marriage, is difficult. We use the horses in uniquely created, Holy Spirit led sessions, challenging participants to reach deep within themselves and discover something that Jesus wants to heal or change. After the exercise with the horses, there is a time to share and process what they’ve experienced. It is not uncommon for the participants to continue processing for days or weeks. We provide the setting and the tools, the Holy Spirit does the rest.
Serving each client with dignity and respect, Three Strands Horse Co. is committed to providing an encouraging framework of spiritual healing and hope, enabling our clients to see their unique challenges in the light of God’s grace.
Prayer: Father thank you for Three Strands Horse Company where Hope and Encouragement, through the power of the Holy Spirit, brings healing in the light of God’s grace. In the name of the lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Nancy all smiles as the Cross is planted