- Ranch Life
Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch
By: Sarah Aydt
One of my favorite seasons to walk up the ranch hill is when winter is turning into spring. On my way up to the office, I search the garden beds that follow the hill for little specks of green. The new growth shares such hope with my heart that life is coming. These new plants push through nearly frozen ground! They’ve been tucked away, buried beneath soil for the stretch of winter.
I suppose the plants sort of “retreat to their roots” for the harsh season. Then they faithfully return to display their beauty when spring arrives.
Seeing this beauty emerge from the frozen ground reminds me so much of our faithful Father. Many of His promises come to mind as I walk slowly up the hill and allow my mind to soak in all He has done. He creates beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3), He makes all things new (Revelation 21:5), and He makes everything beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The simple truth of these promises is enough to make my soul sing.
Yet, the Lord calls us even deeper.
Not only are these promises true from God, but they are true of YOU in Christ. Because of Jesus, in His time, all the pieces of you are being made beautiful. Even the deepest parts of you are made new. This isn’t just His will for His people, it’s His will for YOU.
If you’re like me, sometimes this isn’t an easy truth to live out. I once asked a treasured friend of mine, “If I know what’s true of me in Christ, how do I live like I believe it, even if I don’t feel like I do?” Her answer wasn’t one I loved at first, but it’s stuck with me ever since. She simply said, “You just live like it’s true.”
So I began to ask the Lord, “How do I live the truth of something I struggle to believe?” His answer was right within the hope I gain from those flower buds that arise from the frozen ground every spring. He asks me to tuck myself away in Him to draw from His strength. Just like those plants, when I need to soak in life, I “retreat to my roots,” which is Jesus Himself.
As we walk with the Lord, seasons of life will come and go. What doesn’t change is our faithful Father. If our roots are in Him, those won’t change either—no matter what we face. So when life around you seems hard to endure, take time to return to your roots and find yourself at the feet of Jesus.
My friend, if you return to the deep place of His Presence, you will see Him lift your heart from the frozen ground and spring new life from it. You will be renewed every time—and your beauty will shine like those flowers reaching up toward the warm spring sun.
For those who desire to know their worth and beauty in the Father, this is my encouragement: Seek Him in the process. He desires to guard you and keep you, to mend you and mold you. Most of all, He wants to hold you secure in His arms, teaching you who you are in His eyes. The way we find His heart for us is by resting in what is true of Him. When we rest in these truths, we learn that these things are true of us, too.
Finding our roots in Christ is foundational to living. It’s the bedrock of life that springs from death, light from darkness, beauty from ashes, and new from old. Trust in the One who is able and see Him work in you.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” (Ephesians 3:17, NLT, emphasis added).
“Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
(Colossians 2:7, NLT, emphasis added).
For many years it has been a dream of Crystal Peaks to create something that would allow kids to take home even a small amount of what they see here at the Ranch. We have been working hard for over the better half of last year to make that dream come true and are very excited to present to you our new product!
Crystal Peaks has created a coloring book! Partnering with local artist Danae Swan*, we now offer a 48-page work of art that can become your very own work of art! Inside you will find hand-drawn pictures of your favorite Ranch sights teamed up with some of our very favorite Ranch kids’ quotes and Bible verses.
We hope this little book will capture your heart the way it did ours when we first saw these pages, and that you enjoy bringing these black and white pages to life!
*Danae Swan is an artist located in Bend, Oregon. She is a multi-media artist who enjoys capturing the life and personality of her subjects. Danae and her husband Tyler have loved and supported Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch for many years.
For those of you who’ve been around the ranch for a while and for those who happened across this post, we have exciting news!
This year, Crystal Peaks is participating in #GivingTuesday! Being only a three year old program, Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, designed to provide a place for people to give back to their community by donating to the organization or project of their choice. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), Giving Tuesday will take place on November 29th this year.
A few years ago Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch was gifted the resources to purchase the ranch property located across the street from the main ranch. This tremendous gift has afforded us the opportunity to expand what Jesus is doing in and through this place. Since that day, we’ve been seeking the Lord in how best to utilize the many facets of the new 51-acre property. One of the most exciting aspects of adding this property to the Crystal Peaks campus is the 70-year-old dairy barn. It stands beautifully placed on the property.
In His goodness, the Lord has provided us this space to invest in a larger meeting hall. Perfect for remodel, our strategic plan is to turn this 70-year-old barn into a Conference Center we will call the “Big Barn Conference Center.” Our project team has formulated a plan for the remodel and the design will safely accommodate up to 400 people! We share all this information in hopes that you will join us in becoming a part of this project.
We would like to invite you to choose Crystal Peaks this #GivingTuesday and donate to the restoration of the Big Barn. Help us transform this old dairy barn into a beautiful conference center!
We have a few new products for you to browse in our onsite and online store! We hope you enjoy these new views!
Quarter Zip Sweatshirts & Mugs
One of the highlights for those who visit the Ranch is the view of the mountains. The Three Sisters stand loud and proud and seem to be “watching over” the Ranch. You’ll see them painting a beautiful backdrop in almost every direction you look from the top of our hill.
The constant presence and view of these mountains has inspired a new logo for the Crystal Peaks Mercantile.
On both of the new men’s and women’s quarter zip sweatshirts, you’ll find our name, Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, tucked just under the outline of the Three Sisters Mountains.
Also, just in time for fall, the Ranch now has two new mug options in our online and onsite store! Both mugs display our new design as well, so you can remember Crystal Peaks as you sip your favorite fall drink.
Pray, Listen, Do Tee
Kim speaks often of these three little words that really are the simple answer to all circumstances in life.
“God is talking to men all the time . . . and so is our enemy. We each must choose whom we will listen to. When we PRAY, those who belong to the Lord recognize His voiceLISTEN to it, and follow/DO it! (John 10).”
These shirts provide the perfect opportunity to share the simple truth of following Jesus with everyone you meet. This tee is soft and light by nature with a beautiful heathered red color as the canvas for the message to be printed; this will indeed become one of your favorite shirts.
Find all of these NEW products and more in the CPYR online store.
*Click any image to see that item in the store.
Christmas is right around the corner. For many that means sending Christmas cards to family and friends. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could print your family cards and support Crystal Peaks?
Well, this year you can!
Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch has partnered with Picaboo to provide an opportunity for you to create a family Christmas card and support the Ranch.
Picaboo is a web-based image publishing and printing company best known for its industry leading line of photo books. Customers can upload their digital photos through Picaboo’s in-browser application and create a variety of personalized photo products including photo books, cards, calendars, canvas prints, phone cases and more. Your life is worth printing!*
This collaboration provides an opportunity for you to make a family Christmas card AND support the Ranch. In fact, 50% of your total purchase will be donated right back to Crystal Peaks!
By following the link below, in a few simple steps you can create a card that includes your pictures and a personalized greeting. Your card is completely customizable, which means you can make it specific to your desires and unique to your family. One side of your card will display your personal card and the other side will share about Crystal Peaks and the saving hope of Jesus.
We hope you will consider supporting the Ranch this holiday season by ordering your Christmas cards through Picaboo and choosing Crystal Peaks!
For more information and to order your cards—follow the link and directions below.
1. Choose your card design at www.picaboo.com/non-profit-holiday-cards/crystal-peaks-youth-ranch/
2. Fully customize your card by adding your own photos, greeting and text
3. Place your order using promo code NPOCARDS to get 50% off
If you have any questions along the way, Picaboo has an awesome support crew ready to help you.
You can find the information you need to contact Picaboo by following this link: Customer Care
*Description by Picaboo
The Crystal Peaks Mercantile is excited to announce that we have added new products to our onsite and online store! Click on any picture to follow the link to the online store!
The Founders Tee
As Crystal Peaks continues through our 21st season, we felt it time to create a product that will remind us of those early days when the ranch was just a seed of dreams held in the Lord’s hands.
The Founders Tee, though simple in design, is one of the most comfortable t-shirts you’ll ever wear. This heathered tee simply reads, “Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch EST. 1995.” You’ll find this design in a chocolate brown for men and a soft blue for women. If you’re looking for a simple product to take home from the ranch, this shirt is for you!
We are excited to share two powerful messages we’ve been learning and applying here at the Ranch.
Find our new necklaces and cuff bracelets displaying these two messages:
This silver pendant was designed with the cross in the background and the word “BELIEVE” in the foreground. The “I” is lined up in the center of the cross clearly symbolizing “I BELIEVE.”
John 6:29 says, “Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: BELIEVE in the One He has sent.’” (NLT)
This design features the Crystal Peaks Brand Logo doubling as an acronym for “CHRIST PREVAILS.” The back of the pendant on the necklace is inscribed with the powerful truth of Revelations 12:10-12.
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.’” Revelation 12:10-12 (NASB)
This piece is a compelling reminder that Jesus Christ has already won EVERY battle that we will ever face in this life. This is a truth every Believer can stand in—JESUS IS THE VICTOR!
Find all these products, and more, at the Crystal Peaks online store.
By: Ann Hawley
The volunteers at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch are the backbone of our ministry. To commemorate their importance and the teamwork that they represent, we wanted to create a new t-shirt that reflects the aim of our volunteer program.
The name “Team Workhorse” was chosen to signify the strength and unity of our volunteers. The byline “Pulling Together for Families in Need” represents the Ranch’s mission statement.
Our Short Term Volunteer supervisor Sarah Robinett sketched the design. Sarah’s artistry depicts a powerful image of four horses joined together with breast collars, pulling forward against a backdrop of the Three Sisters. The horses are an obvious creative choice, but they also represent strength, teamwork, and forward motion straining toward a common goal.
At the top of the graphic design is the Bible verse, Zephaniah 3:9 – “Call on the name of the Lord and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” This scripture illustrates the like-mindedness of a group of volunteers who are bearing a single burden, and it’s symbolic of the unity required to press toward a goal.
In Christ, we’re called to walk together as if we were linked by a single shoulder. This means everyone stays in step and no one shirks his or her part of the task. Our objective is to carry out the Lord’s work with His direction, with solidarity, and with singular vision. By pacing together in unity, our individual burdens are lightened and we can obediently complete the responsibilities that are placed before us.
The entire design is encompassed in a circle, representing unity: a continuous line with no discernible beginning or end.
Sometimes a t-shirt is just a t-shirt. We hope ours will inspire everyone to reflect on the generosity of our volunteers and the beauty of true teamwork!
It’s always a privilege to spend time with the Vern Patrick Elementary and Cascade Middle School Life Skills classes. Each year these two incredible groups of kids visit Crystal Peaks. Our time together provides an opportunity for them to enjoy ranch life and ride a horse. Many of the kids face various challenges academically, physically and/or developmentally. After a few minutes at the ranch any visible challenges or limitations fade away into the background. From each child’s heart emerges a beautiful portrait of courage and perseverance. Their joy and enthusiasm for life is deeply felt. Their smiles are contagious and far-reaching. Being with these wonderful students always fills our hearts to the brim.
We hope this visual expression warms your heart as much as the time spent with these kids impacted ours.
We’ve added a few new items to our online store that we know you’ll love!
Last Chance Trading Post now has available a new variety of greeting cards for your choosing. These cards feature our beloved ranch horses. They’re blank inside so you can send whatever message you desire, while sharing Crystal Peaks with your friends.
We’re also excited to add a line of products introducing “All In” as its motto. These items relay a message that’s close to Troy Meeder’s heart . . .
“Each man’s life is a tapestry. The colors and textures explode into vibrant expression the moment he embraces existence without reservation, devoid of complacency, committed without pause. The tapestry, the expression, is fully realized once the blood thread of Jesus Christ is woven into a life lived . . . All In.”
Click on any ‘All In’ photo to view more information or to purchase the product.
Find these new items and more by visiting our Last Chance Trading Post today!
P.S. Be on the lookout for more new items coming soon!
By Katie Jacobsen
In the video below you will meet Lilly, a precious toddler who volunteers with her mom Catherine. Even before she was old enough to walk, Lilly spent time in a pack on her mom’s back while Catherine invested in CPYR’s volunteer program. Now at the age of two, Lilly is able to work side by side with her mom doing simple tasks such as watering flowers and picking up apples. We love this sweet family of two and consider them a part of our ranch family. We hope you enjoy watching a day in the life of our littlest volunteer.
Our volunteer program encompasses all ages and demographics. We believe that no matter your age, background or circumstances every one has something valuable to give back to their community. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a CPYR volunteer, click here.
Special thanks to Red Owl Photography for their work on this video.