Guest Blog from Erica

Posted March 8th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Guest Blog, Word of Encouragement

Hello sweet friends!  Gail, Marcy, Erica, Jessi and I are preparing and praying for the 20 women coming to the first REPLENISH at The Farm!  We are very excited and believe the Lord has wonderful things in store for us. 

Please enjoy a special message from Erica.  Jim and I met Erica van der Laak while we lived in New Orleans.  She came to America after Katrina to help the city of New Orleans recover.  Erica is from the Netherlands and Loves, with a capital L, our Lord. She wanted to share her testimony with you.

Please enjoy!

Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:6

After 25 years of marriage with a lovely husband whom unfortunately was addicted to gambling, he ran off with another woman and left me.

I asked for a divorce…and it hurts very deeply because I loved him.

But, I didn’t see a way out to survive without him, and I wanted my life to end, but my family knew what was happening and they prayed for me from a distance.

The verse above was our marriage text, but we became very wealthy and forgot it and lived our own life, which was not a Godly lifestyle.

I became ill and was crippled with reumatic in my life, my body refused to work properly, and I had several surgeries…gall bladder, breast and intestines.

In that time, I was longing for the peace I had experienced in my parents’ home, for they were Holy Spirit filled believers. But also revelation came to mind…I had opened the door to the devil and allowed him to interfere in my life, and my children’s life.  My daughter received incurable cancer on the bones of her hips and her breast.

At the same time, her husband had an aircraft accident and lay in the hospital 5 weeks in a coma with his body blown up and nothing working anymore. They wanted to stop the equipment because of this.

BUT THANKS BE TO GOD whom sent a preacher from the USA to a conference my brother had organized. This man was preaching and suddenly my brother saw big angels standing in the corner of the church. So the preacher said we should call the names of people whom need a miracle from God because the angels are God’s messengers. So my family called out the names of my kids and me.

During this time, my daughter, barely standing on crutches near her husband’s bed, told him to wake up and get up and go to the bathroom. The nurse was amazed and did not believe what was happening.  He did this and within 24 hours he was standing by his bed with the sheet attached to his back because for 5 weeks he lay in bed because the doctors couldn’t do anything for him. With one surgery they removed the sheet from his back and grafted skin from his legs to his back. In two weeks he was dismissed from the hospital.

I am healed after I confessed my hidden sins, the Lord has broken the power of the devil from me.  I am healed of my reumatic pain and crippleness and my body functions like normal.

My daughter is healed from incurable bone cancer.  It is gone because God has given Jesus for this…to heal the sick and set free the prisoners.

I’ve responded on the question of Jesus…would you follow me?

He asked me to give up everything I had from my marriage. I was crying on the floor in the congregation and asked, “Please Lord, do I really need me to give up everything?”

He asked me again if I really wanted to follow him. Leave everything behind and follow me he said. “Ok Lord, if this is from you, give me joy.” And he did! So I have given it all away. I have the joy and feel free! Hallelujah!!

And I’ve experienced that if we “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything shall be added to you.” This verse became truth in my life.

That’s why I want to share with you my testimony so you know what profit it gives not only to me, but to everyone I meet. Many people became jealous, by what happened in my life. It ‘s all because of Jesus. He calls us to follow after Him. He asks us to give up our mindsets, agendas, and to do the works of Him, so I have given all my household up to follow after Him. I’ve seen that people all over the world give their life to Jesus.

Hear and experience His presence in my life and great miracles are happening around me. God is my provider and He has filled up the emptiness in my life. He is more than enough for me.

Now, after years of traveling and teaching how to live a Kingdom lifestyle, a teaching I’ve given in many countries, God has given me a Home! A very very beautiful home in Holland where I will become a mother of many children, women coming out of forced prostitution.

God has prepared a place for them and a Safe Harbor in my homeland so I can love on them and give them what the Father has given me…love and healing.

There is nothing more beautiful than giving away what you have received from Jesus.  The joy of the Lord will multiply in your life.

All the iniquities that come up in my mind from what I have done in my past, I rededicat them to the Lord. I bring them immediately to the Cross, because I believe that Jesus took it for me in his death. Now I am free, forever! So I cut myself loose from the spirits, and all things are new! The old is gone!

When Jesus said you shall do these things also and greater things than this…this is for every disciple of Jesus Christ! For you and for me.



Posted March 7th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

custom tile by HeritageDesignsTH

Boundary lines…

Posted March 2nd, 2012 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

This word has popped up in teachings, readings and conversations over the past several weeks…therefore I am pondering, chewing on and asking the Lord to show me what this word means to Him and to my life.

When you think of the word “boundary”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s a picture, like a fence dividing your property from your neighbor.

For you, maybe it is not so much tangible as the intangible limits you’ve set in your family as to what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Each day as I stand on the Word of God, I am reminded that the center of God’s will for my life is the safest place to be. And when I push the boundaries, hanging out on the border,



fringe of God’s perfect and pleasing will,

the closer I am to stumbling into territory where I don’t belong.

God set limits for creation and for us. When the ocean roars past the shoreline, people get hurt. When we step over boundaries, well intentioned or not, others can get hurt.

In the book of Exodus, Moses reminded the Lord, “The people can’t come up Mount Sinai, because you warned us yourself to mark off a boundary around the mountain and consider it holy.”

When the Holy Spirit dwells within us, our life is that “mountain of God”. I encourage you today to set limits around your life in Jesus. Consider your home, heart, body…your life holy and consecrate yourself, set yourself apart, unto the Lord.

One of the first Scriptures I memorized, praying that God would make it true of my household, came from Joshua’s mouth at the end of his life as he stood before the people he had faithfully led into the boundaries of the Promised Land. They crossed the flooded Jordan River together and fought every enemy in the strong and courageous power of God, leaving nothing undone. Joshua 11:23 tells us that Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses, according to their tribal allotments and the land had rest from war. Then when he called all the people together and sent each tribe to off to live within the boundaries the Lord prescribed, Joshua said,

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Can you say that? Do you desire that? Or are your boundary lines a bit obscured, broken down or fuzzy?

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

Maybe that one sentence would be a good place to start marking off the boundaries of your life. Like Joshua showed the people, there is safety, provision and rest when we live within the boundaries God has prescribed for each of our lives.

Would you consider all the implications of this word this weekend? Ask the Holy Spirit to help.

Show me your ways, O Lord;

teach me your paths.

Guide me into all truth.

Psalm 25:4-5

My boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places;

indeed my inheritance is something beautiful.

Psalm 16:6

Lord, teach us your ways and make the path leading to the very center of your will for our lives crystal clear and straight. Teach us how to set appropriate boundaries around our home, heart and lives, as hard as that is sometimes. Show us how marginal living is dangerous to us and to those we love. Plant deep within us that compromise and fuzzy boundary lines are not an option…let us say, as for me and my household, we desire to serve you!


Have a beautiful weekend!




Posted February 28th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

As He said…

Posted February 24th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

REMEMBER THOSE TIMES GROWING UP when your mama’s explanation was, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!” I’m smiling as I visualize my mama frequently saying those words to me, and, myself mimicking those words to Lauren.

That did not seem like a fair or just explanation did it? But that’s all mama said and she expected an obedient response.

After the resurrection, when Mary Magdalene and other women went to the tomb, they found an open grave, guards who looked like dead men and an angel with the appearance of lightening and clothing white as snow, who had just rolled away the stone sealing Jesus’ grave. The angel said to these women,

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

He is not here, for he has risen,


Matthew 28:5-6 (my emphisis)

just AS HE SAID. Gosh, do we really believe that- Jesus did, is doing and will do just AS HE SAID?

The angel sent from Heaven, by God the Father, had a message for those women, for us as women…

Do not be afraid…Jesus has risen, AS HE SAID.

Today and throughout the weekend, please dwell in those 3 simple words of truth. Find hope in


Find peace in


Find great joy in


Jesus will do exactly AS HE SAID.

Maybe the Holy Spirit has spoken a word to you that has not yet manifested itself in your life, remember…


Keep going, keep trusting, keep believing- you can count on these God-breathed words of life-


Do not be afraid, I am the same yesterday, today and tomorrowAS HE SAID.

I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the endAS HE SAID.

I came that you might have life, and have it in abundanceAS HE SAID.

I know the plans I have for you, and they are for your goodAS HE SAID.

Yes, think on all the promises found in God’s Word to us and take heart, for it is just


Lord God, please roll away all the obstacles that block us from believing you! Arise and be huge in our lives reminding us continually all is just




P.S.  There are a few more spots open for REPLENISH and I would love to be with you!  I know we are all busy doing life, but pulling away to replenish your life with the goodness of God is always so worth it!



Posted February 21st, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

Mardi Gras Dog Parade in DeLand!!  Who knew!!

Meanwhile…back at The Farm, this is what Rudy and the chickens think…

What’s worrying you?

Posted February 17th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Word of Encouragement

My dear, dear friends! I love you so  much.  I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying , pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’ s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practie what you learned….

Happy Friday dear friends!  I have been reading from the Message Bible lately and wanted to share part of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He is telling us, in nutshell, PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING! My heart, like yours, has two chambers and one side is super full and content with thanksgiving, while the other chamber is crying out to Jesus for those I know and love who are facing some really, really tough stuff.

Throughout the Bible we read the words remember… Jesus said the Holy Spirit would remind us, cause us to remember His words.  Paul wants us to remember Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.

What good is worrying? It will not change a thing! Yesterday I was reading about the man with the shriveled up hand who asked Jesus to heal him.  Jesus said…STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND”. Was this an exercise in trust? Did Jesus want the man to take the initiative to show he truly believed Jesus was able?

Maybe today your prayer is…Jesus please show me the next right step. And when you do I will step out in faith, believing.


Sometimes, for me, that means…go do something for someone else, for it that act of leaving self behind and seeking to stretch myself for another, my healing comes.


What does that simple act, simple statement by the King of the Universe mean to you?



P.S….We will be learning more about PRAYER at REPLENISH!


REPLENISH- March 9-10

Posted February 12th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Ministries

 REPLENISH…to refill when the supply is low,

to top off until the overflow fully renews

and rejoicing abounds! 

WHAT IS REPLENISH?  REPLENISH is a time to reflect on and revive our relationship with Jesus in a beautiful and creative way.



WHO CAN ATTEND?  REPLENISH is for women of all ages who yearn to be Kingdom Women, intentionally impacting their sphere of influence with the love of Christ in everyday life.

WHEN IS IT?  Friday, March 9th REPLENISH begins with a sign-in on the front porch between 5-5:30 where you will receive a Holy Hug and gift bag. That evening you will experience a wonderful time of fellowship, worship and teaching, along with an enjoyable dinner.

Saturday, March 10th REPLENISH begins with a light breakfast from 8:30-9:30.  The day will be filled with connecting! Connecting with sisters and connecting with God through music, prayer, teachings and painting (No prior experience needed). REPLENISH will be a time to relax and laugh, let go and heal. In a peace-filled atmosphere our hearts, minds and bodies will find renewal, as we take time to Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

REPLENISH will teach us how to live life out of the overflow. On Saturday, we will also enjoy lunch on the grounds and a late afternoon snack before saying goodbye around 3:30.

WHO ARE THE LEADERS OF THIS REPLENISH? Gail, Marcy and I served together for many years as leaders in Community Bible Study in Destin, Florida.  Erica and I met in New Orleans, where she served as a missionary from the Netherlands. These women are beautiful examples of KingdomWomen who deeply desire to encourage you by sharing their lives and gifts. Let me tell you just a little about these women…

Gail Ratzlaff is a staff member with The JESUS Film Project, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, representing Magdalena: Through Her Eyes, a movie that offers a fresh perspective on Christ’s love for imperfect and oppressed women. Gail’s beautiful gentle spirit and deep love of prayer shines through in all she does. Among her many talents, Gail is a watercolor painter and stained glass fabricator. Gail has two incredible daughters, Laura and Paige, and two wonderful son-in-laws, Whit and Paul.  She resides with her husband, George, in the Orlando area.

Marcy Boutz has a very  hands-on approach to life and work. Passionate about sharing the love of Christ, I believe she lives the servant’s life…always considering the needs of others first.  Marcy is a devoted home-school mom to her precious son, Sam, and wife to Jere.  With a beautiful creative eye, Marcy is a self-taught artist in mixed media and acrylic. She and her family live in Destin.

Erica van der Laak is a missionary who loves the Lord Jesus and is passionate about spreading, as Erica says, the “happy message” of Jesus around Europe, N. America, Asia and Africa. Erica is from the Netherlands, but she has a heart the size of Texas for the poor and overlooked. God has placed a strong anointing on Erica’s life. When I think of Erica, I think of the scripture from James…the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. For Erica loves to pray!

My heart overflows with thanksgiving for these three women who are volunteering their time and talent at REPLENISH.

WHAT’S THE COST?  $60 per person.

AND THE DRESS?  “The girls” encourage you to come casual…

So you can enjoy all The Farm

has to offer.


WHAT TO BRING?  Your Bible, all else will be provided.

HOW DO I SIGN UP?  Send an email to, with your name, address, telephone number and email address. This email will hold you a place at REPLENISH.  Then, mail your check for $60 to Leah Richardson, 2446 E. New York Ave., DeLand, FL  32724 by Feb. 24th to confirm your attendance. Make your check payable to Leah Richardson (If you are coming in from out of town and need hotel suggestions, I have a list of reasonable ones close to The Farm.)

In the Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I encourage you to pull away from the daily and step into a time of sanctuary, for the Lord has a REPLENISHING Word just for you! Come…

A side note...For those of you who follow my blog and have encouraged me every step of the way, THANK YOU!

When our dreams and God’s vision for our lives line up, amazing things happen! If you are thinking this first REPLENISH came together quickly, ME TOO! But part of my Spiritual journey is learning that everything doesn’t have to be “perfect” to be pleasing to God or meaningful to others. My “to do” list here is still long, but my heart’s desire is to be a vessel of blessing, using the gifts He has given me to creatively connect you, my beautiful sisters, with Jesus, my beautiful Savior…so here we go!  Today I am stepping out in faith, and I hope you will step out right alongside me. The Holy Spirit gave me the name REPLENISH just Wednesday! I sat right here and wept. He is so faithful.

Again, you have been amazing readers and my secret prayer (well not any more!) is that we get to meet one day…get to REPLENISH together.  Although we’ve never seen Him, we love Him. And I love you.

One last thing…see the SHARE buttons below?  Please SHARE this with your friends.

xo,  leah


REPLENISH at The Farm…

Posted February 10th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Leah Richardson, LR Ministries

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! God is so faithful and He is ABLE, completely trustworthy and able, to complete that which we have entrusted to Him. He is weaving the 1st REPLENISH together quickly and I look forward to sharing with YOU (our online community that I love and pray for continually) all the details!

Truly, God is faithful!



Posted February 8th, 2012 by Leah and filed in Wednesday Whim!

heard last night at the J4 Leaders meeting…