Our Roots

The Beginning

L&R Pallet Service, Inc. was established in 1974 when Larry and Doris Ruder stepped out in a leap of faith, borrowed $500 on their credit card to buy a small 1-ton truck, and started repairing used pallets for resale. Larry worked as a delivery driver for Coca-Cola Bottling by day, while Doris managed their two kids, the house, and finances before making the daily delivery to their single customer. She would then make a second stop to a local grocery distributor (who would one day became their largest supply partner) to purchase 100 broken pallets for Larry to repair that evening and Doris would rush home in time to be there waiting for their two boys to arrive from school.

Since that time L&R Pallet has continuously provided customers with pallet solutions and has grown to become the largest Colorado based pallet recycler & manufacturer in the Rocky Mountain Region. Their long days, hard work and combined trust in God to provide for their daily needs established a foundation that would one day serve for more than just making pallets.

 

James Ruder, a second-generation owner, graduated from Colorado State University in 1991 with a BA in biology and a focus in neurobiology. Though he was pursuing a career in the medical field and sensed no pull to a profession in pallets, God had something different in mind for HIS glory when Carine Odell crossed James’ path in the spring of 1992. With aspirations of her own to follow a path employing her degree in early childhood education, they quickly fell in love, were married and began the journey that God had planned for them both.

While continuing his graduate studies at CSU, James discovered a science lab at Virginia Tech that conducted research on pallets. This sparked a new appreciation for what God had given his parents and inspired James to re-evaluate his career options. He re-enlisted in the family business and persuaded his new bride to join him. Looking back, they see themselves as the true heirs of the legacy that Larry and Doris created by founding the business on Jesus.

Though James grew up in a Christian home and introduced Carine to Jesus immediately following their engagement, he never really understood the difference between what it meant for him and his wife to be Christians who ran a business that they owned versus being Christian stewards of a Kingdom Company that belonged to God.

That all began to change in the fall of 2012 in what James identifies as a “God moment”. While on his first of many mission trips to Peru, following months of persuading from Carine, God softened his heart by using the single touch on the arm from a 7-year-old orphan girl, sending electricity through James’ body and literally dropping him to his knees to stare into her sad dark eyes. Upon returning to the States James and Carine felt led to plunge deeper into this newly discovered Peruvian ministry lead by their new-found friend Larry Goode of LostChildren.org. More than that, Carine felt God tugging to do missions work back in America, but they needed God to show them what that would look like.

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart”. 

Ezekiel 26:36

An invitation to attend Colorado’s First Annual Christian Business Leadership Conference soon followed where Paul Cuny spoke on the “Secrets of the Kingdom Economy”. It was at that moment where God began to reveal His plans for this little pallet company that James and Carine dedicated their lives to building. For the next three years, God completely transformed James’ heart for God’s children and supernatural things began to happen inside of L&R Pallet that could never have been imagined.

The Ruders will be happy to tell anyone what missions in the market place now looks like for L&R Pallet along with sharing how they have found new purpose in leading the company as a vehicle to impact the lives of those within their circle of influence. They are very passionate about challenging other business owners to make the 40 hour work week “count for the Kingdom” and sharing how blessed they have been through doing business God’s way!

As part of the journey, God clearly decided to use L&R Pallet as a place of refuge for those needing more than just a job. In October of 2013, L&R hired seven refugees from Burma, and grew that number to nearly 100 in the subsequent 3 years! L&R Pallet quickly became a flagship in the Colorado community for successfully integrating people into their workforce from all types of challenging backgrounds, ethnic groups and demographics that created barriers to employment.

James now knows what happened the day the girl in Peru touched his arm; from that moment James began to see people and not just look at people. L&R now embraces the fact that ALL people have “stuff” in their lives that they could use some help with. We are all just “broken goods” James will say, “so allow the L&R team to support and help you sort through some of that baggage, so you don’t have to carry it alone”.

Many in this company, including its founders and leaders, are determined to take a bold stance in the marketplace with respect to our faith in God. We are committed to seeking His glory through our actions because we believe that ultimately, He is the only answer to all the world’s needs, and we are dedicated to maintaining a culture conducive to spreading this message.

However, we realize that some who come here may not have a large faith element as part of their story yet, and we respect that. Our intent is not to alienate; as a matter of fact our intent is quite the opposite. Regardless of one’s faith commitment (or lack thereof), we invite all to join us in a mission of serving others through business. Yes, some of us will proclaim God as the reason for our going, but it doesn’t mean we can’t go together. Our mission can be captured in 3 words:

Build – Serve – Impact

In brief, we desire to use the platform with which we have been entrusted to bless others as we have been blessed. Our hope is that we will continually use whatever resources we have to impact others in a positive way. We pray that each team member will begin to view the marketplace as their appointed missions’ field. May each find purpose beyond provision.

The Invitation

An invitation to attend Colorado’s First Annual Christian Business Leadership Conference soon followed. There, James Ruder heard Paul Cuny speak on the “Secrets of the Kingdom Economy”, and it was at that moment where James began to reprioritize all of his life’s commitments. For the next 3 years, God completely transformed the Ruders heart for God’s children and supernatural things began to happen inside of L&R Pallet.

James credits his wife Carine for much of his success as she has encouraged, inspired, worked alongside and supported him.  The Ruders will be happy to tell anyone what missions in the market place looks like for L&R Pallet along with how they have found new purpose in leading their business as a vehicle to impact the lives of those within their circle of influence. They are very passionate about challenging other business owners to make the 40 hour work week “count for the Kingdom”!

Many within L&R Pallet, including its founders and leaders, are determined to take a bold stance in the marketplace with respect to their faith in God.  L&R is committed to seeking His glory through our actions because we believe that ultimately He is the only answer to all of the world’s needs, and we are dedicated to maintaining a culture conducive to spreading this message.

However, we realize that some who come here may not have a large faith element as part of their story yet, and we respect that. 

Our intent is not to alienate; as a matter of fact our intent is quite the opposite.  Regardless of one’s faith commitment (or lack thereof), we invite all to join us in a mission of serving others through business.  Yes, some of us will proclaim God as the reason for our going, but it doesn’t mean we can’t go together.  Our mission can be captured in 3 words: Build. Serve. Impact. 

Build, Serve, Impact

In brief, we desire to use the platform with which we have been entrusted to bless others as we have been blessed.  Our hope is that we will continually use whatever resources we have to impact others in a positive way.  We pray that each team member will begin to view the marketplace as their appointed missions’ field.  May each find purpose beyond provision.

Our Corporate Purpose

Before we discuss the mission of this company (what we do), we feel that it is appropriate to define the purpose of this company (why we do it).  It is important for each team member to understand why this business exists.  We require all who choose to work here to join us in “What” we are doing, but we leave the “Why” up to the individuals.  Regardless of what drives each of us to do what we do, we feel that it would benefit everyone to have a general understanding of what we mean when we say we have a desire to glorify God by being faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us.

Why would we desire to “glorify God”?  Well, in short, we believe that He is the only answer to all of life’s questions.  Whether we recognize it or not, we all glorify something/someone with the lives we lead.  We might glorify an idea or a belief. In the marketplace, we might even glorify our business.

The founders and leaders of this company believe that the only thing/person worth glorifying in this life is God.  While it is natural to want to draw attention to ourselves or our company, we don’t believe that we have much to offer outside of God. Therefore, our prayer is that through our words and actions others will be drawn to God, who we believe has all the answers. 

We believe He longs to reach his lost children, and He graciously involves us in His relentless pursuit to do so. The Bible teaches in I Corinthians 10:31 that whatever we do, we are to do it “all for the glory of God.”  We believe that it is only when hurting people witness His glory and are drawn into His presence that true healing will occur. Therefore, it is at that simple place that we begin in scripting the purpose statement for L&R Pallet:

To glorify God by being faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us.

To Glorify God

To glorify means, “to reveal or make clearer the glory, or great beauty and splendor, of something/ someone by one’s words or actions.”
Can our actions readily bring glory to the God of the universe?  His son Jesus gives us the answer:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

What Does It Mean

While we could perhaps limit our purpose to these three words “to glorify God,” is it possible to get a little more specific, given the fact that we are a business in the marketplace?  A business, or any organization for that matter, is simply a collection of resources brought together for a common purpose. At L&R Pallet, we believe that those resources belong to God. We do not own what we have; we have simply been entrusted with the stewardship of them for His purpose. Therefore, we have added this thought to further specify our purpose.

Faithful Stewards

Because God is glorified through faithful stewardship, it is appropriate to carefully assess what exactly we are stewarding so that we can be intentional in using those resources for His purpose. Of course, money is generally the first thing that comes to mind.  As a business, we have certainly been entrusted with financial resources to glorify Him.  Beyond this, we are stewards of a vast array of other resources.  We group our entrusted resources into four different categories:  time, talent, treasure and influence.

Time

Each moment is a gift. Our time on earth is limited, so how are we spending it?  What is the focus of our days?  What are we pursuing?  Life is full of distractions as the enemy attempts to steal our focus and influence.  A life of purpose will not happen accidentally, but involves honest assessment followed by intentional focus.

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. ‘ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow? What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”      

James 4:13-14

Talent

We are stewards not only of what we have, but of who we are. Each of us has been uniquely created so carefully that there has never been or ever will be someone like us.  There are no such things as “secular” gifts.  Everything was created by God and for God. With this in mind, it’s worth asking whether we are hoarding our talents for our own gain or being generous with them as we seek to serve others?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” 

Ephesians 2:10

Treasure

Through the years, we have been entrusted with many physical resources. Of course, this includes money, but it also includes machinery, buildings, trucks, vehicles, equipment, technology, etc. We believe that God gives good gifts to bless His children, but we also believe that the gifts are to be used to bless others. We must take care of the things we have, and actively seek opportunities to share with others.

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

1 Corinthians 4:2

Influence

This comes with time.  Influence is earned and can be both positive and negative.  As we continue on our journey, doors will be opened for us to step though with both our words and actions.  As we are faithful in the stewardship of the first three categories, we will be blessed with more opportunities to positively influence the world around us.

“You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on a stand, and it gives off light to everyone in the house.” 

Matthew 5:14-15

So because we are stewards of many types of resources, we feel it is important to complete our purpose statement by making it clear that we desire to be faithful stewards of not only financial resources but of all that is entrusted to us.

We believe that we are called to be living testimonies of God’s goodness.  When we wake up each morning, we aim to steward our resources in a way that brings attention to the glory of God in our sphere of influence.  Scripture teaches that each person, and therefore each organization, is uniquely created, having a unique platform in this world to accomplish this purpose.