Ronnie, cattle, AI, reconciliation or restoration.

December 3, 2008 at 1:56 am 9 comments

Sayre, Oklahoma

I had just sat down at the computer this morning to begin writing a post about the recently completed Convergence Summit when the phone rang and a man from the Trinity family was calling to invite me to ride along as he went to check on some cattle west of Sayre.  Honestly, when he called I didn’t recognize the voice so agreed to go not really knowing who I was going with.  Of course when he arrived it was Ronnie, a friendly man who I have been getting to know at church on Sunday and who, along with his wife Carol, had invited us to a Thanksgiving dinner, we were unable to attend. He is responsible for about 1500 head of cattle spread out on land all over two counties here in Western Oklahoma.

After the usual conversation about family and recent activities, we discussed the cattle business with a fairly lengthy discussion about AI, which stands for artificial insemination. I now know a lot more about cow cycles, bull sperm and utensils needed to AI a cow then I thought I wanted to know.  Ronnie has been involved in it all of his life, and truth be known, he is a self taught cow gynecologist.  It was really fun and the next step is to join him for a day of actually artificially inseminating a few cows!  Fun times here in Western Oklahoma.

But Ronnie is a lot more than just a cattle man.  He is a God-man.  He has been through some really tough days in his business life and his family life and the Father has poured some good stuff into this rancher’s heart and mind.  I asked a lot of questions, heard his story, and mined some really good truth from him and along the way I heard the Father speak clearly to me about some issues that have troubled me for 3 years.

Ronnie’s marriage broke up 10 years or so ago (he has since married a great lady named Carol) and Ronnie stood for that marriage for 7 years.  He had heard the Father tell him that his life and marriage would be restored and so he waited, prayed and passed test after test, believing he and his then wife would be reconciled.  Then his ex-wife remarried, devastating Ronnie and causing him to question whether he heard the Father right when he heard Him promise reconciliation.  Crying out to God he asked “did you not promise me that my marriage would be reconciled?”  The Father said, “I promised restoration not reconciliation, there is a difference.” 

Right then I knew I had heard something really important for my own life.  I have been believing the Father for full reconciliation of my ministry, even to the point of one day standing on the platform of the church left behind and preach again to the people I shared life with for nearly 17 years.  I believed we would one day put all the pain and loss behind us and bring us all back together again to do ministry.  But nothing in my experience or what I could see gave any hope to what I believed God had said.  

What I realized, as I sat conversing with Ronnie, is that I had, like he had, been expecting reconciliation when what God had promised was restoration.  I know there are various ways to define or view these two words but I realized the way I have been viewing them was like this:  I expected, wanted, hoped to be reconciled to the church I had served for so long and the relationships between us truly healed.  Reconciliation as I viewed it was horizontal renewing of broken relationship and returning to the place and position I had once held. 

But what the Father was promising was restoration, a vertical healing of my heart and the restoration of a lost calling to Kingdom leadership.  I was hoping for my lost ministry to be returned to me and a reconciliation of relationships, but what the Father had promised me was personal restoration to wholeness and then to ministry.

In fact restoration is what has taken place.  I am in a place of spiritual and emotional wholeness and serving in a place of ministry where I am trusted, valued and appreciated.  Reconciliation on the other hand has not happened. 

What the Father showed me in Ronnie’s pickup, in a cow pasture in Western Oklahoma this morning, was that restoration has taken place because He is the One in charge of that process, while reconciliation may or may not take place because that process is largely driven by human beings, who can choose it or not.  God does not force His will on people.  There are human decisions that drive reconciliation but restoration is a miracle of a loving Father.

After my visit with Ronnie I know a lot more about AI and a whole lot more about what the Father has been doing the last 3 years.  Interesting what you can learn out in a pasture full of steers and heifers. Thanks Ronnie!

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Christian, Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Friendship, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Kingdom, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Thoughts, Western Oklahoma.

Where were we? Sown seed.

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kristin R  |  December 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Pastor Greg,
    (which is what you will always be to me) Heart is bursting for joy for you right now! and I have tears of joy in my eyes! Peace is a good thing!
    Kristin

  • 2. ws  |  December 5, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    None of us want to forget Paul.

    I may have said this before in your hearing -for some time I found my self saying “I lost my wife (your mom) the first day of August ‘o4. ” Someone reminded me that when we lose something, we don’t know where it is. So I don’t say that anymore.
    You may appreciate the fact that AI, Ronnie and 1500 head of cattle reached me. It brought back memories of Klamath Falls. I was involved in artificial insemination (We didn’t say AI) in a very minor way.

    I liked Summer’s response. Lest you get overly proud, remember I have TWO special daughters-in-law”.

    DAD

  • 3. Lyle  |  December 5, 2008 at 9:08 am

    so interesting. I personally now understand better the difference beween the two but am believing in the first-reconciliation of my and two other guys who are standing for our marriages. I believe God is in the business of restoring marriages and we as a triad are believing and praying together for that reconcilition so that we can all be restored. I believe we all need some restoration in some area of our lives and this helps clarify ‘what’ we are needing for many of us. We are already watching God begin this process in a couple of oiur marriages.

  • 4. Randy Warner  |  December 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Great point and a good message. Thanks

  • 5. Royal  |  December 3, 2008 at 8:00 am

    I am not sure how you went from AI of cows to the difference between restoration and reconciliation but I am glad that you did. I have never thought of the difference and the profoundness of the difference. Thanks for sharing, I learned something useful from your experience once again, I thank you for being truthful and open.

  • 6. Brooks  |  December 3, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Isn’t it amazing the places where our Father shows up to give us a word?

    Well said Greg….

    Glad to see what Abba is doing in you and Linda

  • 7. amanda  |  December 3, 2008 at 6:12 am

    what a timely post. funny how things can happen that remind you you need to let go and let Him restore and not count, or hope so much for reconciliation. i think i have been waiting for a reconciliation with myself over events that were out of my control, and yet i feel that i should’ve been able to… i don’t know, see and prevent what happened. i am realizing after reading how reconciliation is human driven, that i need to let Him restore me and not try to do it myself. WOW!

    as for the AI, i was giggling, and still am, when i think how new that must be too you, and to see how exciting and interesting it is to you. wish i could of rode along side you guys. ( you were on horses, right?)

  • 8. Summer Scandrett  |  December 3, 2008 at 3:50 am

    Wow. That just blessed me. Goes with the saying [my little saying] “makes my heart smile.” That put so much in perspective. Well put Dad 2, well put.

  • 9. btarmsfamily  |  December 3, 2008 at 3:17 am

    that’s awesome dad! Both the AI info (HAHA) but mostly the restoration part. I have seen such huge restoration in your life, put in the terms that you defined above (vertical restoration). You are so right reconciliation is largly human driven and therefore people have the choice to offer it or not. I am so thankul that the Father offers restoration all the time, at all cost (His Son), regardless of anyone else. Thank you for posting about this. My heart often hurts for and longs for reconciliation but now, I am going to instead look at my vertical restoration with the Father and be thankful for that and pray it is enough for me and for you. I love you dad!

    T

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