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The Beggar's Story

Steve Ranney, Pastor

 

The famed Ceylonese Methodist pastor, D. T. Niles, once said “Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.”  I heard that statement a number of years ago and was not sure I understood what it really meant.  It was not until after a moment in my life when my world collapsed around me that I came to understand it.  It was the darkest moment in my life, and I felt like I was at the bottom of a dark pit spiritually.  On a retreat with a group of Stephen Ministers, a man named J shared his story about a similar time in his life.  As he shared how he found Christ during his dark time, it gave me hope, helping me to embrace Christ’s presence in my life, rather than run away from Him.  It was because he was willing to share his story that I was willing to let God lift me out of that pit and re-commit my life to Him.  J was not an extraordinary man.  He was like you and me.  What made him different was that he was willing to tell this beggar where he found the bread that sustained him.

 

Last month Patty Sanchez shared her story of how God had walked with her through a difficult time, providing healing both physically and spiritually during some dark days in her life.  As she offered her story, I came to realize that she is not alone.  There are many in our midst who can offer stories of how Christ has made a difference in their lives.  As we heard on Pentecost Sunday (and the Sunday after), God wants us to speak a new language and tell those stories, so as to invite other beggars to come to know the risen Christ through those stories.  I invite you to share your stories with each other over the coming weeks and look for opportunities to then share them with people that God brings across your path.  You never know who needs to hear your story of hope and transformation.  After all, we are Christians and we have the greatest story of all to tell.

 


 

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 and is celebrating 30 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

  • 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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