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Veteran's Day 2022

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13

As I stare at the Chalk Cliffs immediately across the creek from Well Spring Ranch, I am amazed at how God uses time, heat, and weather to shape and mold these mountains. The Chalk Cliffs are essentially a piece of living art—shifting under torrential summer rains and constantly etched by the sun's rays—changing their visible features every 15 minutes as new shadows or highlights are revealed. It only takes a half hour of your time to see a new masterpiece. But it does take time and attention.

These cliffs highlight how the natural blends so easily with the spiritual here in Colorado. Time and experience shape both the physical and spiritual journey in the same way that weather shapes these rocks. For veterans, wounds exist in as many different forms as the shadows that are cast by the shifting sun on a granite rock face. Still, the hardest challenge for those of us who have left the service is often the loss of purpose and camaraderie. After the trials of combat our sense of purpose can sift through our fingers like the decaying granite sands of these cliffs, shaped by flowing waters and summer rains.

I have spoken with vets from many backgrounds in the last few years and we all seem to struggle with rediscovering purpose and meaning after our time in service. How can one easily transition from saving lives on the battlefield, representing the will and resolve of our country, or having a devoted 'crew' that always had your back no matter what? The transition is nearly impossible to endure without depression, a feeling of loss, or moments of despair. During three separate encounters, two men and one woman that I knew had recently planned to take their own lives. Their decision was not the result of some debilitating wound that affected them physically, but stemmed from loss

of purpose that had affected their self image. They also felt a deep emptiness and loss of connection with God and others that they once held so dear. Perspective, light, camaraderie, and hope is everything to those who find themselves in dark places. But darkness is always offset by light if we have eyes for it and the will to seek it out.

Mountains Move is focused on bringing light to these dark places for veterans, struggling individuals, and their families. We excel at delivering healing perspective through the Creator's canvas of some of the most beautiful places on earth. And we believe that the peace and tranquility provided in backcountry experiences can help those who are struggling to find the answers and to take the right next step on their journey through some of the darkest times in their lives.

We also believe in the power of supporting military families. The challenges facing the military family are difficult, and few understand the impact of deployments. Unusual stresses are placed on mothers. Relational distance can grow between the military member and their physically distant children. Soldiers face deployments that challenge every aspect of their faith, their health, and their relationships. At Mountains Move, we provide time away in beautiful places, with faith-building outdoor adventures. Time in nature has a way of settling some things when we surround ourselves with beauty wrought by God rather than comforts forged by man—and campfires with friends can do remarkable things.

My favorite time of day here in Colorado is the last 15 minutes or what I call, "last light." Our team loves to share this time of day in high alpine places, surrounded by majestic mountains and cathedrals of rock, when the sun casts its last rays low across pristine meadows. Everything—plants, rocks, trees and insects—are illuminated in a heavenly glow during this magical 15 minutes. We marvel at how even nature seems to hold its breath in this time. If you pay attention—you can experience it just about anywhere, but it's truly breathtaking here in the mountains. I'm convinced that "last light" is a gift from our Creator, reminding us of His great love for us as it offsets the stark aspect of foreboding mountains and hard climbs.

Psalms 72:3 says, "Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills their righteousness." It's one of my favorite verses because we learn that in facing the challenges of our personal mountains—faith, relationships, purpose, and perspectives—we find the greatest rewards that can truly change our lives. Get over your mountains with us, at Mountains Move. Check out our programs, become a supporter in prayer or participation, and see how some intentional time with God can start moving mountains in your life.

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Such a wonderful communication. God uses your writings to touch my heart and to embrace you mission.

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