“A Little Hope” by Bart Millard is included on the “Living Hope” CD available exclusively at Pizza Ranch for only $5 or you can purchase a download of the album at pizzaranch.com/livinghope. Listen to Bart introduce the song and watch the lyric video for “A Little Hope.”
Assistant Manager , Jason Johnson of Grand Forks, made it point to honor the 4 fallen servicemen who were tragically shot to death recently by setting a memorial place setting for four in the Grand Forks Pizza Ranch location. Jason was former Marine himself and we want to thank him for taking it upon himself to make this happen and for his service to our country as well!
Have you ever had the urge to do something fun or challenging that you never thought you could do? This past week a number of Team members from the Pizza Ranch Support Center embarked on the annual 7 day, 462 mile bicycle ride across the state of Iowa RAGBRAI XLIII. Many from this group never dreamed they would complete such a feat, but together they came up with a plan, they set up a training regimen, planned out their route, and they took on the challenge of successfully completing the trek. The group will also tell you that God was with them every step of the way and gave each of them the desire, ability, and support needed to complete the journey!
Is God nudging you to try something or do something new and challenging?
This week begin to challenge yourself to do something you never thought you could do. Make a plan, set a timeline, and find an accountability partner or group of partners to walk with you through it. Let go and let God lead the way and you will do amazing things you never thought possible!!!
Who in your life has been a “trajectory alterer”? Someone who changed the path of your life in a way that you didn’t expect at a time you didn’t expect it? Some examples might be a teacher, a coach, a supervisor, a mentor.
John 8:10-11: Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either Go From now on sin no more.”
The Pharisees bring Jesus a woman they caught in the act of adultery. We are not given the woman’s name. It is not important I suppose, but I would love to meet her someday and listen to this tale from her perspective. Jesus, who was meant to be her judge came to her defense directly against her accusers. She was guilty of the accusation against her. She deserved to die by stoning, and she knew it. If things had gone the way they might have gone, she would not have had a moment to say goodbye to anyone.
But this Jesus turned and confronted the men, some of them already holding stones, and confronted them directly and with unflinching authority. They left one-by-one unable to meet the challenge Jesus had given them. Once they were gone, He turned to her and once again refused to condemn her and released her telling her to sin no more.
It may have taken a minute for the reality to hit her in the confusion. How does this meeting change her life? She went from knowing she had moments to live to the opportunity to start over again. We don’t know how she lived after this. The hope is that her gratitude would enable her to follow Jesus and become a believer in Him as her Savior. Jesus altered the trajectory of her life, and in essence, gave her more life.
I don’t believe this was a chance meeting.
Are there people we pass every day, some of which we will never see again? Probably. I was in the airport yesterday with hundreds of people I will likely never encounter again. But, are there meetings in our lives that are orchestrated by God? Yes! Though we realize it or not, throughout our lives, God is orchestrating to move us to specific persons, or those persons to us. Can you think of anyone in your life that a “chance encounter” was more likely orchestrated by God? How was your trajectory altered by them?
Be ready to be a “trajectory alterer” – God’s instrument of love, and forgiveness in a broken world.
“Till I Met You” by Laura Story is included on the “Living Hope” CD available exclusively at Pizza Ranch for only $5 or you can purchase a download of the album at pizzaranch.com/livinghope. Listen to Laura tell the story behind the song and watch the lyric video for “Till I Met You.”
In Mark 5: 21-24a, we see a story about a synagogue leader named Jarius, and his very sick 12 year old daughter. She was dying. So just like we would be, he was desperate to find some help for this child he loves. The good news was, that there seemed to be some hope to be found close by…and his name was Jesus. Jesus’ fame was the talk of the region. Jarius knew it. Everyone was talking about the miracles Jesus was doing. People were bringing the sick to see Him because they were convinced that all they had to do is be touched, or to touch Jesus to be healed. So Jarius became convinced of the same thing. He probably even witnessed Jesus heal someone himself. He was also, more than likely, one of the leaders in the synagogue that plotted against Jesus because of the healing he did on the Sabbath. But now things were different. He was desperate. This was his loved one who was dying. So he fell at Jesus’ feet, asking him to come put His hands on his daughter.
The point for us today, and what’s so great about this passage, is that Jesus actually went with Jarius. He didn’t scold the man for his past sins and say no. He didn’t rebuke him for plotting against him. He didn’t hold him accountable for anything. He simply went and healed his girl. Jesus will do the same for us too. No matter what we’ve done. Many of us are afraid to call out to Jesus because of all the sin in our life. We feel like we don’t deserve His grace. We live in fear that He will hold us accountable for our short comings….and that He would never forgive us. But just like with Jarius, Jesus will forgive us. He will never reject those coming to Him.
“Hope of Heaven” by Michael W. Smith is included on the “Living Hope” CD available exclusively at Pizza Ranch for only $5 or you can purchase a download of the album at pizzaranch.com/livinghope. Listen to Michael introduce the song and then watch the lyric video for “Hope of Heaven.”