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Starts and Stops

Steve Ranney, Pastor


Andrew Murray wrote “God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.”  If you are like me, you find great comfort in those words.  It is great to know that if we step out in faith and follow God’s leading in our daily lives, listening for those nudges from the Spirit, that God will have our back, providing for us and seeing us through any difficulty we might face.  The problem is that my real reaction to that statement is “If I ever decide to give up control of my life and yield it to God, it is great to know that God has my back.”  The problem with this is that I then miss out on seeing God provide what I need and I miss out on being a part of work that God wants to do in and through me.


If we want to see God do amazing things through us and provide for us in ways we don’t think possible, we need to take that step and actually give our lives to God and watch Him provide for us.  That means trusting that He really is preparing a place for us.  It means tuning our spiritual ears to listen to the nudging of the Spirit.  It means praying each morning when we arise “Use me today in any way that you see fit” and meaning it.  It means living each day in a running conversation with God.


Now, living this kind of life does not just happen overnight.  It takes a desire to do this, a desire born out of love for our Lord, and it takes the willingness to make a lot of mistakes along the way.  There have been days when I have prayed that prayer in the morning and pulled it back halfway through the day because of something God asked me to do that I did not want to do, or someone that God wanted me to love that I did not want to love.  After those moments (way too many to count), I am glad to say that God always welcomes me back and invites me to try again.  This “wholly yielding our lives to God” thing takes a lot of practice.


Let me invite us this Lenten season to take as our challenge wholly yielding our lives to God (1. Praying each morning when we arise “Use me today in any way that you see fit.”  2. Tuning our spiritual ears to listen to the nudging of the Spirit.  3. Living each day in a running conversation with God.)  There will be many starts and stops to this endeavor, but each start will bring us closer to living that life “wholly committed to God.”



Meet Steve Ranney


As we welcome our new Pastor, Steve Ranney, here is a little information to help us get to know him better:


  • Married to Kim Skilling who is a graduate of Princeton Seminary, is celebrating over 30 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and is now the Designated Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Anaheim

  • Two sons and a daughter and two grandchildren.

  • B.A. in Ministry from Northwestern College in Roseville, Minnesota.

  • Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary.

  • Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Seminary.

  • Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1991.

  • Associate Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church of Centennial, Colorado, 1991–2006.

  • Pastor/Head of Staff of St. Mark Presbyterian Church of Ballwin, Missouri, 2006–2015.

  • Steve seeks to lead both by example and by challenging people to use the gifts that God has given them for the building up of the body of Christ.  Thus, Steve's main focus is helping each person grow up in their relationship with God so that God will be able to bless others through them.






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