​Rock Bo​ttom Ranch We​ekly Blog

Our latest blog entry

October 27, 2021

Vessels of God

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master, and prepared for every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21

       Hello, so glad you are here! My name is Lori Wolf, and I am one of the four founders of Rock Bottom Ranch. As I was preparing to write this piece, my thoughts immediately went to the ladies who are currently going through our program. I was thinking about how God will use them to display His power and His greatness because He has a plan for each of them.

       God desires to make us “a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and useful for His use, and prepared for every good work.” As exciting as this is to think about, it’s also a little scary. Have you ever been asked to do something so completely out of your comfort zone, you know it’s from God, and in your mind, you are saying, “NO,” but you hear the words, “I would be glad to” come out of your mouth instead? I’ve been there, many times!

I learned early in my relationship with the Lord that whatever my fears and insecurities are, there is where He’ll work. When I told the Lord I was too inadequate to pray aloud…He put me in a prayer group.

       When I said, “No, Lord, I’m not equipped to teach Sunday School…I found myself teaching Sunday School.

       When I said, “Lord, I can’t get up in front of the church and give my testimony”…there I was again!

       When I feel incapable of a task God calls me to, He equips me. The Lord knows my weaknesses but also knows my gifts and talents. He gave them to me, and He’s given them to you. They are as individual as we are.

       Everything the Lord allows in my life is conforming me to His image. The more Christ-like I become the more God can work through me. My greatest growth in Christ comes when I allow Him to stretch me beyond what I feel capable of. If I don’t allow God to take me beyond what is comfortable, then I limit how He can use me. Saying “no” to God would reflect a life of missed opportunities, rob others and myself of blessing, and prevent God from being glorified through the use of my life. This is where God’s glory lies.

       In 2 Corinthians 4:7 it says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power is from God and not from us.” The earthen vessel represents us. Apart from Christ we are broken clay pots.

God uses frail, breakable, common people like you and me, and His great power overcomes and transcends the earthen vessel (us). Our weakness isn’t fatal to the tasks God gives us - it’s essential!

       Take Abraham, guilty of being deceptive, yet he became the man of faith and the friend of God. Moses, with his stuttering speech and quick temper, was chosen by God to make a nation and receive His law. David, guilty of adultery, conspiracy, murder, and unfaithfulness, became a man after God’s own heart. Elijah, running from Jezebel, asking for death, defied Ahab and all the prophets of Baal and heard the still small voice of God. Isaiah, in the presence of the heavenly vision says, “I am a man with unclean lips, I’m certainly useless to you God.” But when he had been cleansed, said, “Here am I, Lord, send me,” and God said go.

       Let’s not forget Peter, the leader, the spokesman of the twelve apostles, who denied the Lord…and was restored by the compassion of Jesus and was enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to speak with such force on the Day of Pentecost that God used him to birth the church.

You may feel you’re weak, unimpressive, not a good communicator, plain or common…but you were molded by God’s very hands, sealed with His Spirit, and equipped to be used for His purposes and His glory. God puts priceless treasure in clay pots, so nobody ever has to ask where the power comes from.

So, when God calls us to a task, we must say,” YES, Lord!” Our value as earthen vessels is in our service for Him, and our obedience and service in this life will not go unnoticed by our Lord. Even if our faithfulness to Him is painful or costly, we can rejoice in knowing that this “momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory.”

       Remember, as we step out in faith beyond what is comfortable, that one day soon our faith will be turned to sight, and we will see our Lord face-to-face. Just imagine the joy we will feel when we hear His gracious words of welcome: “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

Be blessed!


Written by: Lori Wolf

Rock Bottom Ranch Weekly Blog

Our Latest Blog Entry

Do Not Fear


October 21, 2021

        Abba Abba, there are so many people out there trying to pull me back into that old lifestyle. They say that they are my friends but I now know better. They harbor evil in their hearts, they devise wicked schemes against me. Malice consumes their thoughts towards me, rage fills their eyes. They lay in wait for me in the shadows of darkness looking for the first opportunity to strike. How long oh Lord will they try to pull me back into the slimy pit of addiction? Do they not see your light shining through me? Can they not see that I am now a daughter of the most high king? Or is that it? They do see your light shining brightly through me and that disturbs the demons in them. I sit around meditating on your word scared to leave the comfort of my home then it hits me. “ Do not be afraid.” 365 times Your Word tells me not to be afraid. I will no longer let fear control me, for you alone are my rock and fortress. In you alone, I put my trust.

       

       When I decided to change my life for the better and sit the drugs and old lifestyle down, I felt like I could still hold on to “my friends/my people”. I felt as if the people I used and ran the streets with were my true best friends. I had such a twisted perception of what friendship was and an even more twisted perception of what love was. I thought just because someone would keep me high all the time that they cared about me because you only give drugs to those you love right? It has taken me quite some time to fully let go of the people from my past that I wanted to hang on to, and if the truth be known at times I still struggle with it. I can remember telling myself when I came into this program that I am doing this for the man that I was with. For the first few months in the program no one could tell me any different. I was holding on to that relationship and was unwilling to let go of it because he truly loved me, Or so I thought. I told myself that if I get better while he is sitting in prison then when he gets out we will be happy ever after. But God! Once God truly got ahold of me and I surrendered to Him and His will for my life and began learning of His love for me, I soon realized that there was no love in that relationship. It was in fact nothing but abuse. Then as time went on I also realized that just because I was in a program getting my life together that the world had not stopped and neither did any of “my peoples” addictions stop just because my addiction had stopped. 


       The thing about addiction is that it is a continuing and progressive illness whose ends are always the same: Jails, Institutions, and death, Oh my. When I came into recovery I had to let go of all my old people, places, and things because if I didn't then I was just fooling myself and setting my recovery up for failure. Misery loves company and for those who are still in their addiction life is miserable and unmanageable. Now at almost two years sober, I don't ever want to go back to that life. God has blessed me in a way I never imagined. I get to help other women that have struggled like I have, find themselves again. Hopeless souls become hopeful once again. The most rewarding part is sitting back and watching God do what He does in the hearts of the women we serve. I truly believe the most beautiful part of it all is watching the light come back into the eyes of a woman that has been so lost in the darkness of addiction. 

     

Written by:

Jessica Morris

Rock Bottom Ranch Weekly Blog

Our Latest Blog Entry

Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone? 


October 7, 2021

          Hi, my name is Ginger Brown. I have been part of the team here at Rock Bottom Ranch for several months now, and I am so excited to be writing our first weekly blog! We have lined up a team of writers that will be taking turns each week, sharing what God is putting on our hearts that we believe will be relevant and helpful to the body of Christ.

        As I started praying about what God wanted me to share, I was reminded that He had asked me months ago to write about how our cell phones had taken over our lives, and not in a good way. It has been a year or so since I have written a blog, but God most generally will have me write about something He is wanting to help me overcome, or something I have already overcome that can be an encouragement to others. This time around, it is definitely an issue I am still needing to address in my own life, so if you are still reading after hearing the topic, maybe God has been speaking to you as well in this area. Let’s take a look at it together, what do you say?

          First I want to share that by the grace of God, I was supernaturally set free from a 15-year addiction to crack cocaine back in 2008. Over the last 13 years, God has done more in my life than I ever dreamed was possible. I wrote a book on freedom from addiction that was published in 2010 and so far, we have been able to send over 11 thousand copies into jails and prisons across the nation. I am so grateful that all the pain I put my family and myself through is now being used to advance the Kingdom of God! I’ve been here at Rock Bottom Ranch since July, and I feel so blessed to be able to work at a place where I know I am fulfilling my God-given purpose.

          Addiction can come in many forms, and it is not only drugs that people can become addicted to. Besides drugs and alcohol, a person could become addicted to gambling, sex, porn, work, food, shopping, social media, and the list goes on and on. The big trouble with many of these things is that they are legal, therefore it is more socially acceptable and looked over, being easily swept under the rug because after all, we think, “how bad could it be if almost everyone is doing it, right?” Sadly, these things can be just as devastating to our lives as drugs, and sometimes even more so. There is a God-sized hole inside of each of us that only He can fill. Nothing, no matter how hard we try to make it fit, will ever fill that void but Him. Anything else will just make the hole deeper and deeper; a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied.

     

       Many of us have unwittingly allowed our cell phones, especially related to social media, to become an idol in our lives by giving it more time than we give to God. We have even come to a place where this is how we seek to receive our approval and affirmation that we should only be looking to God for. This has happened little by little until suddenly we are doing it so automatically, we hardly notice. It is just normal. A habit. However, I for one am ready to surrender it to God and allow Him to bring deliverance to me in this area.

       Cell phones are an amazing tool that we can use to help manage our daily lives, and even to share Jesus with the world. However, we have to be disciplined in how we use them, or they can become no longer a help but a hindrance. Our phones are not only time stealers, but they have also been linked to stress, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and increased suicide rates among other physical, spiritual, and psychological problems.

How many times have you picked up your cell phone to check your messages or add something to your shopping list, only to automatically open Facebook without even thinking about it and end up mindlessly scrolling instead of doing the task at hand? Then before you know it, you’ve wasted 30 minutes or so and your phone has sucked all the energy out of you so you put things off yet again.  Am I the only one?

        A while back, I had gone to Louisiana to visit some family I hadn’t seen in some time. About an hour into the visit, I realized ALL OF US were literally sitting in a circle to visit, yet instead of interacting with each other, we were on our phones instead! Has this happened to you? Would you even notice if it did? I challenge you to look at yourself and your family’s behavior in this area.  Are your relationships suffering due to mindless time spent on your smartphone?


        I know I am guilty, and I want to make a change. Our time here on earth is precious. Time with family is precious. I don’t want to waste it! God has many things He has called us to do, and I don’t want to miss sharing Jesus with a non-believer that God is trying to highlight to me because I was checking out who all liked a pic of my lunch I shared on Facebook! 

        There are eternal things at stake here in addition to our life here on earth. I don’t want to give more time to my phone than I do to my children, and I most certainly do not want to model that behavior in front of them and set that tone for how they relate to electronics and people. We must set some clear boundaries not only for our children regarding technology but also for ourselves. It is crucial.

         I have asked God to give me some practical ways to implement this and this is what I got:

1. First, we must acknowledge that we have been out of alignment in this area and ask Him to forgive us and help us to do better.

2. Set clear boundaries for ourselves and our children regarding time limits for all electronics. Smartphones do have a feature that allows you to set time limits for social media and other phone apps. You can set these on your children’s electronics as well.

3. Set time apart for God and family where all electronics are turned off. We should make this a normal part of our routine.

4. Have accountability partners whether that is a friend or family member. Hold each other accountable!

5. If we find ourselves starting to slide back into old habits, repent again and address it immediately. Don’t give up! There is a beautiful life out there waiting for us outside of our smartphones. Let’s go live it! 


Written by:

Ginger Cato Brown

Our Latest Blog Entry

Summer 2021 Newsletter

September 8, 2021

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