Friday, April 12, 2013

The gloomy wet weather this week has been very similar to the mood here in our community.  We lost a great guy early Monday morning when Ryan Prudhomme died and it has literally been raining and dreary ever since.

 I will never forget the first time I met Ryan, we had just moved up here, and it was the middle of winter.  My parents were up so we took a drive to see the area. We found the one restaurant that stays open year round in a neighboring town, and went in.  It's a very small bar/restaurant and when we walked in we saw 2 cowboys sitting at a table and I remember thinking..."where do I live?"  It seemed like a picture from out west!  Well, my dad, who never knew a stranger, decided to talk to these guys.  He goes on to tell them who we are and that we had just moved to the area.  They were both very kind and said they worked at the Ranch at Grace Adventures.  So I wondered if they were just dressed that way because of the ranch or what, I mean they were in full get up, hat, bandanna around the neck, big belt buckles, vests, leather slicker coats, the real deal!  I had seen several cowboys out west, and even knew one, but most people in Michigan, just wear the boots or hat or whatever not the whole shebang!  After living here a while I came to realize that indeed they were true cowboys. And not only that, they had a passion for the Lord and used their love of all things cowboy at the camp to help others grow in their faith and knowledge of the Lord.  It was a blessing to get to know Ryan, yes he was a great man of God, he was also a lot of fun and quite mischievous, he shared some great stories around campfires about his growing up years. He will definitely be missed!

 Today we went to the visitation and were once again reminded that we have a living God who cares for us and gives us the grace we need to deal with the difficulties of this life.  His wife, parents and brothers were all a picture of this kind of amazing grace.  While we are all so very sad that he is no longer with us, we are not like those without hope.  I cannot imagine going through life without the hope that is found in the Lord. 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

There may be some who read this and think this is 'hogwash' so to speak, but I urge anyone who thinks that way to think about something: What if you are wrong?  I mean, if what I believe is wrong, and when we die, we die and that's that, then at least I had hope{don't worry, I'm not changing my mind on this} But, what if what you believe is wrong, and what I believe is right?  Then what?  Just something to think about.  Ryan left a legacy of faith and trust in God, and I can't help but share that with you.  If you've never read Ryan and Kendra's blog, please check it out.  It will be sure to bless you, stretch you and make you think.

Please keep Kendra, Colton and their families in your prayers.