At the end of this past summer season, I found myself saying the words, “It sure seems that there’s never been a better time for the Gospel.” I’m certain that this statement has been uttered for generations, and it’s still true. It’s always the right time for the gospel! I must admit that my statement may have been based on a desire to address our current problems, not necessarily an eternal need. The Lord faithfully did amazing things in the hearts of the youth and staff this past summer season, but we also saw significant challenges. It becomes easy to focus on behavioral issues when it’s truly the heart that needs to be addressed. The need for the gospel and its redeeming grace is just as important in my heart as it is in a struggling youth’s heart.
The challenges and celebrations of summer gave way to the wonderful anticipation of the incoming students in the School of Discipleship. It is an exciting season of teaching and training. The students also play an integral part in the Ranch’s retreat ministry through the fall, winter, and spring. What a blessing to be a part of these young people’s lives as they build their foundation before stepping out into the world.
In a time in our society when everyone is “rebranding” themselves, I am instead encouraged to look back at our brand. The Box Cross has been the brand of Miracle Mountain Ranch since 1964 and is registered with the state of Pennsylvania. Branding time at the Ranch means that new horses will bear the imprint of the Box Cross. It’s not just a ranch brand; it also symbolizes our mission as well. Each bar of the box represents an “E”. The first is Evangelize: to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. The second is Establish: getting them grounded in the Word (the Word of God is to be the lens we see life through and the mirror we see ourselves in). The third is Equip: coming alongside
them and equipping them to make an impact for Christ. The last is Extend: sending them out into the world. The four corners of the box represent the four corners of the world and a reminder of the commission given by Christ, to make disciples of all nations. In the middle of our brand is the Cross. This is to remind us that everything we do is for the glory of Christ, that He must be at the center of it all, and that we are His instruments in His divine plan to redeem the world.