Category Archives: Rusty Whitener

Direction From God

by Deb Raney
I’m sure it wasn’t really all about us, but when Ken and I look back on the Gideon it seems like God must have orchestrated it to become a part of our lives just when we needed it most! Ken had just been laid off from his job of 25 years, and we were in deep disagreement about what to do next. Ken felt strongly that the Lord was asking him to step out in faith and use his gifts of illustration and graphic design to start his own business. I wanted the security of a “real” job.

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What I discovered at the Gideon changed my mind and changed my heart. There, I got to know a whole bunch of people just like Ken. Fellow creatives brave enough to step out in faith, to walk in obedience to a calling, and dedicated to using the gifts and talents God gave them to tell the world about Jesus. And to tell it in a quality way.

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It’s hard to adequately describe how God used the Gideon to direct our paths, but today, four years later, we look back at the journey God took us on (still has us on!) and we see that at each critical juncture, God allowed us time at the conference. And every year it was a time of encouragement, spiritual growth, growth in our marriage, and of evaluating where we were headed––and whether it was the direction God wanted us headed.

We heard so many wonderful testimonies of how God had provided for others in our shoes. We heard such inspirational and motivational talks that helped us make important decisions. We watched films that encouraged us. We made friends who will always have a precious place in our hearts. And we formed prayer partnerships (thank you, Rusty and Rebecca!) that I have no doubt made all the difference.

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It was clear to us from the minute we stepped onto the grounds of Ridgecrest that God had paved the way for us to be there, and we will always look back on the Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival as a gift from His hand.