What God Sees

Have you ever asked yourself, What does God see? This week, as we’re preparing for a big project around the ranch, the words “El Roi”, the God who sees me (Genesis 16), came to mind. I’ve asked myself, What will God see? Exploring this question through prayer, the Holy Spirit helped me to better understand the answer is “All.” God sees all; and as I’ve learned in God’s word, “all means all.” Everything – Totality – Complete – Inside – Outside – Around – Through. El Roi sees all.

When first announced that our church’s youth group was looking for projects to raise funds for a Summer Bible Camp in Colorado, God brought a project to mind. Painting 20 acres of pipe fencing around the pastures is one I’ve been dreading. The last time I did it was 2014, when we first started building out the Cross-Dubya’s pastures. Since then, we’ve added another 2,500 linear feet of pipe. I remembered it took Nicolaus and me nearly a full week just to prep and paint the north and south pasture fencing. Now, there’s over twice as much fence to paint and I’m even older. The idea of having a bunch of willing young people to help made it an easy “Yes.”

As Friday morning is fast-approaching, there are still lots of things to get done to prepare for the energetic work crew. Supplies to purchase, pipe to prep, food to buy, and the list goes on. Recognizing that I am the original grumpy old fussbudget, I sense God is doing some preparing of His own. Part of those preparations is expectation setting and reminding me of why we’re even doing this project. El Roi serves as an important reminder that God hears my thoughts, sees my actions, and knows my heart in everything I do.

A working ranch, the Cross-Dubya is not a showpiece; it is dirty and sometimes rusty. Still, I want it to reflect an image that is worthy of its namesake and purpose. It should be clean, orderly, pastures as weed-free as possible, healthy, and well-maintained; much like the goals of my Christian life. Not perfect by any measure, but a reflection of whom I serve and represent. Here in Texas, we call it “riding for the brand”, which means our lives should reflect the values, reputation, and quality that the brand represents.

If we reflect whom we serve, who will others see? #ReflectionOfGod #CrossDubya Share on X

So what will God see this week as He looks upon His Cross-Dubya ranch? I pray He sees smiles, determination, joy, and dedication in everyone involved. I hope He hears words of encouragement, praise, and appreciation. As a rancher and businessperson, I can’t seem to undertake any project these days without considering its return on investment or ROI. You got that, didn’t you folks? Three questions I’ve asked myself with this project are:

  1. What will I gain/see?
    The easy answer is freshly painted fencing to enhance the ranch’s aesthetics and protect the significant investment in precious metals (steel in this case). Other lessons God will teach me are yet to be known, but I’m looking forward to them.
  2. What will the young people helping gain/see?
    Not an easy answer for me, but I’m hoping they get more out of the project than money to help fund their upcoming trip. My goals for them include a reinforced work ethic, an understanding of the value of one’s labor, closer peer relationships, an appreciation for God’s creations, and the importance of teamwork.
  3. What will God gain/see?
    My prayer is that a sweet aroma of fellowship, praise, kindness, and a spirit of service to others in His name and for His glory is carried unto the heavens. I pray we move Him to continue blessing the Cross-Dubya and each person who is working to grow closer to Him.

Some may wonder why an insignificant little ranch, located down a back country road, on the outskirts of Podunk, Texas, even matters in this world. The answer is, “In this world, it doesn’t. In God’s eyes, it reflects our love for Him.” If you take nothing else from this post, I hope you’ll remember this thought:

When we seem to matter little, remember that God
sees each of us, and can use us to help others see Him.

I pray you’ll take a few moments this week to ask God to show you what He and others see in you.

God’s blessings,



Please join me this Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.


46 thoughts on “What God Sees”

  1. J.D., somehow I think this project is going to do a work that goes far beyond the ranch project. I think God is going to be smiling down. May you hear His voice whisper, “Look at My children working together. Look at the way they are bringing joy and laughter to one another. Look at the way wisdom is being passed down through the generations. I love when My people spend time in community and unity.”

    1. Thank you Ms. Joanne. I pray you’re right ma’am, and God will lead me or say or do something that will make a positive impact on the lives of these youhg people.

  2. If I didn’t know better, Mr. J.D., I’d swear you wrote about my author voice I don’t seem to have, according to at least one individual. So, I’m reading about voice.

    Perhaps I should read more about listening, to God.

    Always a pleasure seeing what’s going on for the brand.

    1. Reading and listening to God is ALWAYS a good thing Mr. Warren. As far as “author’s voice”; may I humbly suggest that as long as you are writing in obedience to what God has called you to do, YOU HAVE AN AUTHOR’S VOICE. Some people may not want to hear it or are unable to appreciate it, but remember you weren’t writing to those people. I often have to remind myself that I am writing to an audience of One. And is my Lord is the only one who hears, reads, and knows my thoughts and it pleases Him, then I’ve succeeded. I give all my writing to God my friend, and how He chooses to use it is His business, not mine. Will be praying your unique voice, style, and message is greatly used by God sir.

  3. Oh, J. D.! Your investment in the lives of those young people is beyond thrilling. In light of all we see in the news, our youth are in desperate trouble. You’re sowing seed in fertile soil, my farmer friend. May the Lord bless you all in this project and produce much fruit.

    1. Thank you Ms. Dottie. Am praying these young people are safe, learn a few things, and learn to grow, work together, and support one another as a “family of faith” over the next couple of days.

  4. Everything we think, say and do is significant to our wonderful Father God because we belong to Him and represent Him on the earth. May I always remember what you said: “God hears my thoughts, sees my actions, and knows my heart in everything I do.”

    1. Amen Ms. Ann. We all too often forget that we live out our lives before God’s eyes (Coram Deo), which is exactly why I am asking forgiveness each evening before I drift off to sleep.

  5. What a wonderful opportunity you’re giving these young people, J. D., to grow in their love for the Lord and to gain a fresh perspective on what it means to give work one’s all for the sake of the Lord. Yes, God does see all, and He is cheering you on!

    1. I hope so Ms. Martha. I’ve seen them in AWANA, in youth group, etc.; and am looking forward to seeing their unique personalities begin to shine through in a different environment. Am interested to see which ones are leaders, who are good followers, and who are more like me. LOL Thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes ma’am.

  6. I can picture the young folks sharing conversations, working and sweating and in every moment, learning valuable lessons. I picture the fellowship and friendships formed and strengthened. I picture God smiling as He watches and listens to each person. I picture God smiling as He sees how you listened to His nudging for this project. Wonderful opportunities to share His love! 🙂 Blessings!

  7. All of my kids participated in various mission projects, nearby and far away. Your goals here are ones that I hope they carried with them from those projects–satisfaction of a job well done, fellowship in working together, “many hands make light work,” the joy of contributing effort and time for a project that would have been too big for one or two people. God so often works through the everyday mundane tasks to teach us spiritual truths. I was just contemplating recently the fact that my life as a wife and mom seems filled with the physical–buying groceries, doing laundry, dusting, etc. It’s easy to think “I could do something for the Lord if I didn’t have to do all this other stuff.” But then I realized the Proverbs 31 woman’s life was filled with the same everyday tasks–yet she glorified God in them and was commended.

    Missionary Amy Carmichael was sometimes criticized for the time she spent on buildings and physical needs of the orphans she cared for. I love her response: “One can’t save and then pitchfork souls into heaven… Souls are more or less securely fastened to bodies… And as you can’t get the souls out and deal with them separately, you have to take them both together.”

    1. Well said Ms. Barbara! I suspect your children and grandchildren are greatly blessed by the example you’ve set in their lives. I know that some of my most cherished memories are of my adopted parents and the life lessons they taught me through their simply living out their lives as God directed them. Thank you for commenting; and God’s blessings ma’am. Keep setting those examples ma’am.

  8. Oh, I can hardly wait to learn about this precious day on the Cross-Dubya– and see some pictures as well! I do pray you have great weather.
    Wish I could be there to watch and help serve up lots of food and water and cookies and . . . to your workers.
    One thing you won’t see is this image that came to my mind and I don’t know why: I saw farm workers stepping up to an old hand water pump with a bucket underneath. They would pump water into the bucket and use a common dipper to take drinks of water and occasionally pour over their heads. We used to drink from that pump and dipper on the back porch of my grandma’s house.
    Like I said, I have no idea why that image came to my mind but I smiled at the contrast of today and days gone by– 60+ years ago in Appalachia Virginia.
    Y’all have a great fun and productive day!

    1. Not sure if children still drink from the hose or not (I suspect not), but given we don’t have a well here, I don’t think that will happen. Then again, your words made me think of the song from Casting Crowns, “Come to the Well”, so maybe we do. 🙂 Oh, how I remember priming the pump, drawing up water, the large washtub on the table on Saturday evenings, and then when we got that wringer washing machine. I remember carrying buckets of water from the well. Not sure if I worked harder filling that monster up with well water than it would’ve been to simply hand washed them. LOL Thank you for invoking great memories Ms. Connie.

  9. I love how you think ahead to the desired outcomes of this, and any, project. And the fact that you include God in the planning stages helps ensure its success! Proverbs 16:3 comes to mind.

    A great lesson for all –

    1. “Unto the Lord …” Ms. Candyce. Indeed ma’am. I’m going to insist that we gather for prayer each morning before the first wire brush gets handed out or the first paint can gets opened. I pray they understand the reason behind the brand. God’s blessings ma’am.

  10. This is great, letting the youth complete this project, earn the funds, and like you said, hopefully learn other lessons. I’m thankful for the God who sees me. And I pray others know without a doubt who I serve! God Almighty!

    1. Amen Ms. Karen. Me too! I’m not always thrilled at what He sees, but I thank Him for being the patient teacher who understands that while I can’t be perfect and righteous in this live, He knows my future will achieve just that, in Him. Thank you ma’am.

  11. Yvonne Morgan

    Well, I love when God confirms things. El Roi has been on my mind a lot lately and I plan to write about it next week. Then, just this morning, I read two devotional about different aspects of El Roi. God does see us. Amen. Thanks for sharing and I got the roi pun. Lol

    1. 😀 I’m so glad you didn’t miss that reference my friend. I chuckled when it just flowed from my fingertips while writing. I’ve often spoken about how the investments we make into our SRA are far more important than what we put in our IRA. Praying I make several deposits this week.

  12. As someone who served as a youth director for many, many years, I’m convinced the youth will find great blessing, fellowship, and fun as they paint. (And they probably won’t mind at all if they get a little paint on themselves!} Thank you for providing this opportunity for them.

    1. Indeed Ms. Gail. It is in our intentional living our lives knowing the He sees, hears, and knows all that help us to strive for “better” each day ma’am. Praying your healing continues.

    1. Thank you Ms. Nancy. I sure hope too ma’am. Working with AWANA and other time spent with young people almost always leaves me energized and renewed. Their spirits can be infectious. Am praying we all spread “JOY” throughout this project.

  13. I hope and pray your project goes well, J.D. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the Cross-Dubya as well as for the young people. I must disagree with one aspect of your message when you state that, “In this word, it doesn’t,” referring to what you call an “insignificant little ranch.” The Cross-Dubya has great meaning because it is in this location God has placed you to do His work. When you reflect God’s light and love in the work you do for Him, it is significant. Perhaps I’m just misunderstanding your statement, but I believe where God places us to bring glory to Him and His message is part of His plan for us–and that is far from insignificant. I’m not saying we should brag about our work or our setting–just that we need to recognize that every aspect of God’s plan is important and significant. Blessings, my friend.

    1. Thank you Ms. Katherine. Perhaps my wording was unclear to some. My intent was to communicate that “by worldly standards”, the Cross-Dubya means little (we’re not the King Ranch, or Four Sixes, or Waggoner); but in God’s eyes, our little ranch is a place the honors and shows Him to the world around us. That’s enough for me. 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting and the blessing of your friendship sweet friend.

  14. Your three questions are right on, J.D. You will benefit by not having to do this work, the youth will benefit by earning money for their camp and also it will teach them the work ethic as you mentioned. You will have the wonderful unity of the fellowship. You are planting seeds in their lives that will reap a harvest for a long time. You are a blessing to those around you.

  15. Like so many who have responded ahead of me, I’m once again blessed and inspired by how skillfully you brought together the truth of the Word of God and a commonplace term we’re all familiar with, and how you have reached out to bring those young people together to promote growth in two realms. They get to combine the practical benefits of hard work with the spiritual growth gained in practicing godly principles. The way you applied the lesson by asking what we might “see” and what we might “gain” in our efforts to serve Jesus Christ presents a challenge we can all benefit from. Once again, I’m grateful for way God directs you in extending your outreach far beyond the borders of the Cross-Dubya. Also, I apologize for being so late getting to see this. I was tied up in town with doctors and therapists all day and didn’t get back to my computer until today. God bless you for making even tough days look brighter, and we’ll be praying for God’s blessing on the project.

    1. Much too kind, as usual, but I’m most grateful for your grace Mr. Ron. I’m pleased you enjoyed the post, yet overwhelmed that in the midst of your recovery, you took the time to read and comment. Am humbled but not surprised sir. I’ll join you in praying that the young people get much more than a few dollars from their visit here. God’s blessings sir; and continued prayers for your full and fast recovery.

  16. Your lessons from the Cross Dubya always amaze me, J.D.! I bet those kids will have a wonderful time painting and then heading to Colorado!

  17. The fact that our character is built from the inside out, I am always reminded of the fact God sees our inner nature and beauty. And for that, I am thankful. It also keeps me purer.
    And for the record, J.D., your little ranch matters to ALL of your readers.

    1. LOL Thanks Ms. Karen. If doesn’t feel so little some days when chores need doin’, but while it may not be much by worldly standards, the Cross-Dubya, like me, strives to stand boldly for God, reflecting His light and love into the world.

    1. 😀 How did you know I was thinking about that Ms. Debbie? I think one young man and one young lady had more white paint on them than they did the fence; and I’m certain their parents won’t talk to me Sunday morning, but I think they left last evening with smiles and hugs. I still can’t figure out how that fella got paint in his shoes and behind his ears though.

  18. The Lord’s eye is on the little things that the world overlooks. Your ranch is far from insignificant in the realm of eternity, a mission field for those who are involved in its care and maintenance! God bless the hands who tend to it!

    1. Amen Ms. Mary. I think, and pray, you’re right ma’am. By worldly standards, the Cross-Dubya is a nice-looking little ranch; in the same way, many want to say Jesus was a “good man.” When I look at the Cross-Dubya through spiritual eyes, I recognize it is God’s classroom for me, and for many as He inspires me to share His many lessons. With those same eyes, we can see Jesus for who He truly is. Creator – God – Savior – Shepherd God’s blessings gentle soul, and thank you for always sharing such encouragement.

  19. Good morning, J.D.,
    I love your heart for others and know God will teach the youth wonderful lessons of kindness and service at the Cross-Dubya.

    These words spoke to me today.
    “When we seem to matter little, remember that God
    sees each of us, and can use us to help others see Him.”


    1. Thank you Ms. Tammy. While we didn’t get as much accomplished (scraping and painting wise), much important work was accomplished; and we had fun doing it. God’s blessings ma’am.

  20. Summer Bible camp in Colorado? I’m sure those youth think you’re the BEST for offering them this opportunity. Hopefully, their trip will be filled with life-changing blessings.

    1. They’re a great group of young people; and most definitely are the future of our church. What a great honor it is to be able to invest in them and their future. Should God tarry, I pray these young people show godly leadership and moral responsibility in the future; reflecting what we’ve attempted to pour into them and all of God’s lordship and leadership in their lives.

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