News From The Ranch – December 1999

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Special Christmas Webcast, Stocking up on your faith, we’re expecting!

Watch our live Christmas special, "Stocking Up on Your Faith," on Thursday, December 16th at 9pm Central.

Watch our live Christmas special, “Stocking Up on Your Faith,” on Thursday, December 16th at 9pm Central.

Merry Christmas!

We had a great start to the Christmas season this past weekend. Over 200 people from our church put on an hour-long tour through the city of Bethlehem, complete with live cows, donkeys and Roman soldiers on horses.

Lana and the kids dressed up to work in the marketplace, selling live chickens and sheep. I was one of the tour guides, taking groups through the city, watching out for thieves and beggars, and trying to get past the Roman soldiers. It was quite a production, and gave us a great sense of “being there” at the greatest birth ever recorded.

Back at The Ranch, we’re planning for a special broadcast this Thursday, December 16th. I’ll be sharing some practical ways people can “stock up on their faith” for the New Year.

With Y2K just around the corner, no one knows exactly what will happen. But there’s one thing we can stock up on that will help us through anything: FAITH. If you can get on the Internet and watch, I’d love for you to join us in the chat room afterwards. But for those of you who can’t make it, let me share here some of the ways to stock up on your faith.

Stocking Up on Your Faith

1. Read the Bible Regularly

The Bible is full of stories of ordinary people just like you and me who faced impossible circumstances. Yet, by faith they accomplished extra-ordinary things. (You can read about some of them in Hebrews Chapter 11.)

When we read and reread the stories of how God has worked in lives of others, we increase our faith that He will work in ours, too.

2. Pray regularly and listen for God’s direction

God has many things He wants to tell us. He has a unique purpose for each of our lives. Through prayer, we can not only ask Him questions, but we can also listen for his answers. God can help us know what to do each day, and what to do for the rest of our lives.

Bring your requests to God, and be sure to take time to listen for his answers. Here’s how King David prayed: “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3)

3. Be Doers of the Word and Not Hearers Only.

Faith is like a muscle: the more you use it the stronger it gets.

A friend recently said that she loved having a treadmill in her house. Even though she hardly ever used it, it made her feel better just knowing it was there anytime she wanted to exercise.

We sometimes treat the Bible and prayer the same way. We feel better just knowing we have access to them anytime we need them. But if we don’t make a habit of reading, praying and putting our faith into action, we will be in no better shape than if we didn’t have access to those things at all.

The apostle James says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22, KJV).

Just as exercising our body makes us stronger physically, exercising our faith makes us stronger spiritually. Make sure you’ve got a good supply of faith on hand for the New Year. Read your Bible. Pray. Then put your faith into action.

Good News

At home we have some good news! Great news, actually…Lana and I are expecting our 5th baby in June! You may know that we’ve had several miscarriages a few years ago, so I’m glad to report that Lana passed her first trimester with a good report from the doctor. We’ll greatly appreciate your prayers through the rest of the pregnancy.

Other good news has come in the form of some year-end E-Mails. Some of these people were in depressed, even suicidal states at the end of last year because of struggles in their lives. But they are ending this year full of faith that God is alive and active, in part due to our Internet ministry and your prayers.

One says, “I cannot believe that I am ending 1999 so differently as to how I began it.”

Another says, “Thanks so much for all you do in the Lord’s service. It has been some time since I was on the Internet because of struggles, etc. I am now back on and tonight I revisited The Ranch. It was like taking a walk down memory lane. So many feeling flooded my heart as I looked around and remembered what God did through you in my heart.”

And another says, “Just wanted to drop you a line and pray that your ministry is going well! Also, wanted to let you know that the porn junk has not been a part of my life since August! What a wonderful relief…and peace that passeth all understanding! The big test was last night…my wife had to be gone and will also be gone tonight…In the past these were time times that I would indulge myself in illicit chat, cyber porn, or rented movies…But you know, Eric…that was not even a temptation last night…due to people like you and guys on the forum who have held me up in prayer…made myself accountable to my wife…God is good and a faithful deliverer! May God continue to bless you my brother.”

Amsterdam 2000

Billy Graham is holding an invitation-only event next July in Amsterdam. They’ve had over 75,000 applications and will choose 10,000 to attend, 75% of which will come from developing nations. It will be the largest gathering of its type ever known.

I was a bit surprised, but thrilled when I was recently invited to attend. I’d like to accept the invitation, but I’ll need to raise $2,200 between now and then in order to attend.

If someone happens to have enough frequent flyer miles to donate to get me from Chicago to Amsterdam and back, that would further reduce my costs. If you, or your church, or your Sunday School class would be interested in sponsoring me for this special event, please let me know as soon as possible to I can respond to their invitation. You can read more about the event at: www.amsterdam2000.org.

Special Needs

Some people have asked if we have any special needs right now, so here are a few of those as well.

  • The sound has gone out on our camcorder for the broadcasts and we need a new or used one to replace it.
  • I’m needing a new or used midi keyboard to digitize my music for use on the Internet.
  • We’re needing a second vehicle for me to use when I’m on the road so Lana can have some transportation while I’m gone.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for all You’ve done for each one of us this year;
  • for giving us faith that no matter what happens in the future, You will still be here for us;
  • and for leading us and guiding us every step of the way.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for an increase in our faith to believe You and to take You at your Word;
  • for the provision to accomplish all You have put before us;
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Lord bless you and Merry Christmas!

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