Monday, November 24, 2008

God's Lavish Love!


King's Ranch is an awesome place! Not only is the home beautiful, but the beauty of God's creation surrounding it is breathtaking! Hard to believe that there is a place like this in Jonesboro, and that God has chosen to use it for His glory to bless hurting kids!


When people visit King's Ranch, we always hear compliments like, "Wow, this is so nice!" or "What an awesome place!"... and they are right! God has blessed King's Ranch to be a blessing to others!

The kids who will come here have had much hurt in their lives. They have not had the privileges that you and I enjoy and have come to expect. Many of them have no one who is concerned for them or will take care of them. King's Ranch is a place for them to receive all of this and more. I can't explain the feeling - you just know when you walk in the door that God's love is here!


In the little girls' room, there is a verse painted on the wall and it says this,


"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God." 1John 3:1


God doesn't always give us lavish things, but He always gives us lavish love, lavish grace, lavish mercy, lavish forgiveness! King's Ranch, and the beauty that surrounds it, is meant to be a picture of the lavish nature of God for the kids who will come here. He loves them. He cares about them. He has a wonderful plan and purpose for their lives beyond anything they could imagine!



Father,
How great is the love you have lavished on us that we should be called your children! Thank you for that love! Thank you for the privilege of being your child! We pray that every hurting child who comes through the doors at King's Ranch will leave this place as a child of the King! Lavish your love on them, Lord! May you, Father, be glorified and lifted high in this place! You alone are worthy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

HeartSpaahhh!



The only thing I can say is WOW! I cannot begin to put into words what we experienced at King's Ranch this past weekend at HeartSpa! You had to have been there to understand the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we experienced! We had 14 girls from the Huntington Mission and 8 leaders who led them into the presence of the Lord!



Our weekend was focused on the account of the woman at the well from John 4: 4-30, 39-42. Jesus came to the well around noontime. While he was there, he bumped into a Samaritan woman. This woman was an outcast, someone not welcome at the well in the morning or evening when other women came. She was in a vulnerable state when she met Jesus at the well. We talked about the fact that had she not been in this vulnerable state, she would have missed meeting Jesus. She would have been at the well early in the day with the other women and not been there when Jesus came by at noon! We talked about how we must be vulnerable with Jesus and with others. We must take off our "masks" and come to Jesus and each other as we really are! We spent time talking about Psalm 139, "O Lord, you have searched me and you know me." He knows everything about us and He loves us!
We also discussed that Jesus is the living water! He is the only one who can quench the dryness of our soul! Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14.

We ended our retreat by considering the actions of the woman after she met Jesus. She did not sneak quietly back home! No! "...leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did"John 4:28-29. We talked about dropping a pebble into a pond and watching the rippled effect. This woman told her friends who told their friends and many people believed! We each thought of someone we could tell about Jesus and made a gift tag for a bottle of water to give that person as a gift. As we give that gift we are going to tell them about Jesus who is the living water...and the ripple effect will continue!


Between each session, the girls rotated to three different spa stations; healing hands, pampering pedicures, and refreshing facials. The theme of our retreat was woven throughout these experiences and helped reinforce Jesus as the living water! The girls loved getting pampered! Most of them had never had anyone make such a fuss over them!

HeartSpa was a phenomenal experience for all involved! We knew that apart from Him we could do nothing! We knew that if God did not show up at this event then it would fail! So we did what we knew to do. We prayed! We prayed that God would smooth out all the details. We prayed that He would fill every room and corner of that house with the Holy Spirit. We prayed that He would bring at least 12 girls to the retreat. We prayed that He would bring reconciliation, forgiveness, friendship and bonding between the girls. We prayed that He would move in hearts and draw us all closer to Him. We prayed that He would bring salvation. I want to proclaim to you that our God is awesome! He is mighty! He is faithful!! He answered every one of those prayers!! All glory goes to Him!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Home Sweet Home!


Move-in day was a great success! We were so blessed to have had plenty of volunteers to help load up the furniture at the storage unit and move it into the King's Ranch home! Thank you to all those who helped!





You may be wondering what else we need to make the King's Ranch home complete! We have a wish list at Target with the items still needed! You can visit http://www.target.com/lists/1ZC66F9SEVVEI if you'd like to purchase an item for the home, or you can visit your local Target store and view our list on the registry computers! Thanks so much for all your help!



Friday, August 15, 2008

Great Things in Store...

We have exciting news! The King's Ranch home is almost ready! With move in day just around the corner, we are taking inventory of what we will need to finish the home. We've posted a list of needed items to the right.

Our greatest need at this time is a set of house parents! Please pray that God will send the ones He has chosen! We are spreading the word in churches around town to see if God has been preparing someone there. Help us by spreading the word in your church! If you know of someone who is interested, please have them call us at 934-1303 or email us at information@kingsranchar.com .

Word is beginning to spread and we are getting some calls about children needing a home! Please pray that God will give us wisdom and discernment as we make decisions about the 3 children we will receive. There are so many children in need, but we can only take three! We need Him to make it clear to us those who need to come to King's Ranch!

These are exciting days! It is such a privilege to join God in his work! Thank you for all who have joined in with us to get this home ready! God has great things in store for 3 precious little children! We can't wait to see their faces!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Big Thank You!

King's Ranch was so blessed to have the Blackburn Family from Austin, Texas visit the ranch and help with some much needed clean-up! With some old fashioned elbow grease, we were able to clean the King's Ranch home to a sparlking shine, inside and out!! Thank you Blackburn's for the sacrifice of your time and energy! We know God will bless you richly!
Re-mulching the flower beds was a tough, hot job, but everyone worked hard through the heat! Relief was in sight, however, because soon the power-washing of the house began and cooled off our weary laborers!
Windows were washed, cabinets were polished, drawers and cabinets were wiped out, bathrooms were cleaned, and light bulbs were changed all in preparation for move -in day!



Thank you again Blackburn Family!!!
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24







Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pressing On!

Summer has brought a slower pace of life, some much needed rest, and the beauty of God's creation in full bloom at King's Ranch! Our new spring babies are growing and aren't so new anymore! MoJo has his horns, the beginnings of his billy goat beard and is almost as big as his momma. I'm sad to report that we lost our beloved Minnie after an unfortunate encounter with Sophie, our golden retriever! ShyAnne, our little buckskin philly, is bucking and running right along side the other horses! She's giving us a time with the taming process though! We were not able to handle her much early on due to a fiercely protective mother! All the baby ducks have grown up and moved on to other parts of the country. We are reminded of just how fast little ones grow up and venture into adulthood, and just how important love, care, protection, and nurturing are to their development! Which brings me to the point of this blog entry - the children!

There has been much going on around King's Ranch this summer to get ready for the children who need love, care, protection and nurturing! Much work has been done these past few weeks in preparation for the arrival of three little children that will call King's Ranch home by the end of 2008! Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who have given of their time to get things done: Bill Ross for taking care of the yard, Don Jenkins and Paul Grimm for power washing the deck to prepare it for a new coat of water sealant, Don and Will for trimming the limbs, Betsy Smith for giving the inside a new coat of paint, Jonesboro Roofing for repairing some damaged shingles, Gina Gunter for weeding the flower beds in the heat!, Shannon Puryear for helping polish up the cabinets, Mary Margaret Scholtens for feeding us all as we worked! And the list goes on! We will be having a clean-up day and move-in day in late July! We will let everyone know those dates when they have been set!
Thank you all for your prayers and support! Keep praying as we keep pressing on!!

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

All for the King and the kids,
Eddie and Lee

Monday, May 26, 2008

Our Sincere Thanks

We would like to say thank you to all of you who have supported us through prayer, donations, writing letters, making phone calls, sending emails, coming to council meetings, and giving us encouragement through this time. We are still believing that God will complete the vision of King's Ranch. We don't understand all the details, but we know that He is sovereign over all. His timing is perfect. He is always faithful. We anticipate something greater than we could have hoped for or imagined. We know that many of you have taken time out of your lives to help us and for that we say Thank You and may God bless you and your family!

Still believing,
Eddie and Lee

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear Friends,



King's Ranch would like to respond to some misinformation that has been circulated recently about our ministry. King's Ranch has requested a conditional use permit for a residence located at 2816 Day Drive. This beautiful 4900 square foot home sits on 10.57 acres of secluded, wooded property that joins Dr. and Mrs. Eddie Cooper's 59+acre already established ranch. The Cooper's have applied for a conditional use permit that is required in order to have a group home in an R-1 zoned area. Group homes are allowed in R-1 zoned areas with this conditional use permit, therefore, no re-zoning is necessary.



The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) staff report found that there would be no detriment to surrounding neighborhoods if the permit was granted with conditions. One of the conditions was that the home be limited to 1 with no more than 8 children. The Cooper's have accepted these conditions.



Response to Misinformation:



1. There will be a maximum of 8 children living in the existing home, with Christian house parents who are called into this type of ministry. No other "professional or domestic staff" will reside in the home.



2. The home is on property zoned R-1. The proposed use of this home is permitted in an R-1 zone with a conditional use permit. No re-zoning is necessary.



3. The original application for King's Ranch was for more than one home, but Dr. and Mrs. Cooper have accepted the conditions recommended by the MAPC staff, including the condition of only one home with no more than 8 children. If future expansion is considered, a new application and approval would be necessary.



4. KING'S RANCH IS NOT A BUSINESS. IT IS A HOME. It is non profit and there will be no signs erected. The lights go off at night and come on in the morning, just like any home. King's Ranch is a place for hurting children to have a "real home".



5. King's Ranch is not at all similar to the House of Refuge. The House of Refuge is state funded and accepts teenage girls (age 13-18) that are wards of the state in the foster care system. King's Ranch is a private organization that is privately funded. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 can come to the ranch. Children who are younger than 6 can come if at least 1 sibling is 6 years old. Children can remain after age 12 if they are succeeding in the environment. Since King's Ranch is privately funded, Dr. and Mrs. Cooper are the ones who will make the decision of who comes to live at the ranch. No government agency will make those decisions for them. No child who has severe behavioral or emotional problems will be allowed at the ranch for that would undermine the King's Ranch ministry. Dr. and Mrs. Cooper have four children of their own, ages 7 through 14, and would not put their own children at risk. If a problem did develop, the child would be transferred elsewhere or returned to their guardian.



It is unfortunate that there is a prevalent misunderstanding of what King's Ranch is all about. There are so many children in our city who just need a safe place to call home and someone to love them. This is what King's Ranch desires to give these young children. Our purpose is to restore their childhood and share with them and others the hope that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We want to give them an opportunity to succeed in life. We hope that some of the misunderstanding has been dispelled and you will join us in being a blessing to "one of the least of these".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why THIS Land?

There are many who have asked over the last few weeks, "Why THIS land? Why don't you go outside of town and put the Ranch there?" I hope by sharing excerpts from my personal journal that you can see why we feel that God has led us to this land.



2003



...Eddie and I tried to buy some beautiful land in Evening Shade. It was so peaceful with the Strawberry River running through it and rolling countryside- a place where we thought we could take the kids and horses for the weekend and get away. We prayed for God's guidance and tried to buy the land. No matter what we offered, the people would not take it. Then the real estate agent completely stopped calling us. It was strange, but very evident that the door had closed shut!

Over the next few months, God began leading us to some land in Jonesboro, near our present home. We had never thought about moving from our house and didn't want to move, but over time it became apparent that God had other plans. He wanted us to buy the land and move. My bible study at that time, Israel and the minor prophets, was invaluable. Each time I had a question or hesitation, God answered it through scripture. When I was worried that I would not be safe living out there by myself, that very week God taught me through David as he was running from Saul in the desert. God allowed him to sleep in peace because He was protecting him. He gave me Psalm 4:8, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." When a friend told me I was making a mistake by moving, that very week God taught me about David's close friend and co-worker Joab and how he was trying to steer David away from God's will. On and on the confirmations kept coming. When I was worried that the kids would not be safe riding, God gave me scripture to ensure His protection. He also confirmed His leading to buy the land with Psalm 37:3 "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." It was very evident that He was leading us! However, when the day of closing drew near, I got so scared and prayed, "Lord, is this really what you want us to do? Is this you?" As I was praying , he brought to my mind "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." I prayed that scripture back to Him, telling Him that I would trust Him on this. After I prayed, I opened my bible study and the first question led me to look up Proverbs 3:5-6. I turned to it and guess what it said..."Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight!" God was so gracious to make it so clear that we were on the right path and we needed to trust Him!

On the day after closing, Eddie and I met over at the land to catch the sunset before we went out on a date. It had been raining that day and the clouds were moving off to the east. The sunset was glorious and I enjoyed watching it in the quiet solitude (Eddie had not arrived yet). Before long, just before the sun set, Eddie drove up behind me. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the most amazing sight! I jumped out of the car and beheld the most amazing rainbow I've ever seen! It went from ground to ground with brilliant colors right over the land. Just above the brilliant rainbow was another perfectly formed fainter rainbow. It was glorious! Eddie and I stood there in amazement and we both felt God confirm in our hearts that we had followed His will and been obedient to His leading. We knew He had guided us to this land and He had plans to use it for His glory!



2004



...One night Eddie and I took the kids to a Big Daddy Weave concert in Harrisburg. The concert was held in a little church just on the outskirts of town. When we left, Eddie told me that God had impressed something on his heart. He said he felt that we were suppose to have christian singers come to the ranch to minister to people. I thought that sounded great but didn't give it much more thought after that.

A few months before, Margaret had become a foster mother and had three precious foster children in her home. We were becoming aware of the great number of desperate children in our area. We began to have a growing burden for these kids, but did not know what we could possible do to help. We became aware of the shortage of quality places for these children to go. One day I called my mother to see if she wanted tickets to the Sandi Patti concert when she came to town. She told me no because she was going to see Sandi Patti at Watersprings Ranch and went on with her conversation. For some reason that stuck out to me and I asked her "What is Watersprings Ranch?" She began to tell me that it was a home for children in need. "They come there to live in a real home with christian house parents who are called to the ministry. They hear the gospel and learn about Jesus", she said. She said it was privately funded through contributions from individuals, businesses, churches,etc. "They have christian singers who come and do fundraisers to raise money for the ranch",she said... At that moment the Holy Spirit put all the pieces of the puzzle together for me. All the things that had been occurring in the last several months collided and the picture became clear. God was calling us to start a ranch like that on our land...



That was the first time I felt God reveal to me His plan for our lives. It took two years of wrestling with God and many scriptural confirmations for us to finally surrender fully to His call to King's Ranch. After all, we do have 4 kids of our own, 5 horses, 3 goats, 3 cats, 2 dogs, Eddie's full time medical practice and all the other things of life. We cannot do this on our own - He will do it through us and through all He calls to help us! The land and the call seem to go hand-in-hand.

Since the denial of the MAPC, we went back to the Lord to seek his direction. "Maybe He's moving us?", we thought. Several people called us with land options. We have explored those options and laid them before the Lord, asking His guidance. The Lord gave us several confirmations that we were to stay put. One being 1 Corinthians 15:58, "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." As of today, He has not told us to move- and believe me we have asked over and over and over. I hope this gives some clarity to why we do not feel like we can "just move". Psalm 37 has turned out to apply very literally to our lives. I'll end with a promise we are standing on...



"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;...." Psalm 37:3-7



Waiting patiently,

Lee and Eddie

Friday, April 4, 2008

We're Moving Ahead!

Just wanted to update everyone on the progress of the Ranch. Things are moving right along! We are moving ahead in faith and getting everything in place we will need to effectively minister to the precious little children who will soon call King's Ranch home!
Work will soon begin on the house. The interior will need a new coat of paint, some minor repairs, and a new bathroom added to an upstairs unfinished space. The exterior will need a few minor repairs as well, and the deck will need to be power washed and resealed. Then, both the interior and exterior will need a good old fashion cleaning! If you would be interested in volunteering to help with these things, please contact us at eddieandlee@aol.com or call the ranch at 935-6788. Many of you have already offered your help and we are so grateful! We will be contacting you soon.
We will also be having a praise and prayer gathering at the ranch in the near future. It will be held at the new home and you will be free to tour the house, indoor arena and stables, and the office and conference area. We'll have some good food, fellowship, and music as we praise our awesome God!!!
Please continue to pray that God will give us wisdom, discernment, and guidance as we proceed. Also, pray that God will protect the children who are in desperate need all across our city and region! We look forward to the day that He comes to rescue them!

All for the King and the kids,
Eddie and Lee

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

King's Ranch has two new "kids"!




Just wanted all of you to see our new arrivals!! Mini (black) and MoJo (brown) safely arrived on January 26th! They are so precious and they can't wait to welcome some "human kids" soon!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

video

Check out this interview with local station KAIT
about the new house and property we recently acquired!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The King's Ranch Home!




We are excited to be able to share with you very good news! We have signed a contract on a home for King's Ranch! It is a beautiful 4900 square foot house that sits on 10 acres of dogwood and blackberry filled forest! The view from the back of the house is breathtaking! It overlooks a 2 acre lake with a dock, and just beyond the levee, a larger 20 acre watershed lake! Perfect for the children who will come to King's Ranch!! God is so good. He gives us more than we can ask or imagine! The house is perfect to meet the needs of the kids. We will have to add a bathroom for the relief houseparents bedroom. So...if you or anyone you know has the skills necessary and feels God leading, we have a need that, perhaps, you could help meet.

Please pray! Pray that God would provide the materials and labor force necessary to add the bathroom and tend to some maintenance issues. Pray that King's Ranch would find favor in the eyes of the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and the conditional use permit needed would be granted. Pray that God will change the hearts of our opposition. Thank you for all your support and prayers!


All for the King,

Eddie and Lee