News From The Ranch – March 2001

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Help Wanted at The Ranch, KIDSRANCH update and an upcoming book.

I was blessed recently to help Jennifer Ramsey record this beautiful collection of Christian hymns and choruses to lead people into quiet time with God.

I was blessed recently to help Jennifer Ramsey record this beautiful collection of Christian hymns and choruses to lead people into quiet time with God.

“Help Wanted” at The Ranch

Fourteen years ago God instilled within me a purpose for the rest of my life: to make God’s name known throughout the earth.

I was reminded of that purpose again these past few weeks as people have been signing up for this newsletter from places like Nuuk, Greenland; Tedlam, India; Kingston, Jamaica; and Lagos, Nigeria. (Welcome to everyone who’s new to this newsletter, whether you’re in Johannesburg, South Africa or Peoria, Illinois!)

Even though I have a very small ministry, I’m thrilled that God is able to amplify it throughout the world. In the past two years, over 80,000 people have visited The Ranch website from over 100 countries.

I feel a little bit like Moses may have felt when he stood at the edge of the Red Sea. God told Moses to do a little thing (raise his staff) and God did the BIG THING (parted the sea). And I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Moses to do his “little” thing, but it’s clear that it was God who did the BIG THING.

God has used November’s USA Today article to open even more doors for me to make God’s name known. These include:

  • a half-page story in the LaSalle-Peru (Illinois) NewsTribune,
  • an article in World Affairs Weekly, one of the major national magazines in Japan,
  • a radio interview on WPEO (Peoria, Illinois),
  • a law paper at the Hamline University School of Law (Minnesota),
  • an article in the University of British Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism Review (Canada),
  • and an Internet research project at Lincoln Christian College (Illinois).

These have come in large part because of your prayers that God would “bless us indeed and enlarge our territory.” But now I’m at a crossroads: I need you to either stop praying for God to bless us, or pray that God will raise others up to help!

What I need are some people who would help me correspond with and pray for those who come to The Ranch for encouragement. I answer as many e-mails as I can each day, but I still have about 300-400 e-mails waiting in my inbox, some of which have gone unanswered for months. Most of these are believers who need encouragement in their faith, a listening ear, and a prayer of hope.

The Bible says:

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).

If you’d like to help out by responding to 2-3 emails a month, or spending an hour or two a week in the chat room at The Ranch, I’d love to hear from you.

As I thought again this morning about raising up a network of volunteers for this purpose, I sensed God saying: “Eric, you raise your staff and I’ll part the sea and we’ll see many safely delivered to the other side.” Care to join me?

KidsRanch Takes Off

Thanks, too, for your prayers for the initial launch of the KidsRanch (kidsranch.org). In the first three months we’ve had over 9,000 visitors from 40 countries! The site has also become an instant hit with others doing Internet ministry. Here are a few of their reviews:

Tony Whittaker, who lives in the U.K. and writes the Web Evangelism Bulletin (web-evangelism.com) says:

“KidsRanch is a brilliant new evangelistic site for children. There is an excellent range of fun games, jokes, and stories. Especially commendable is the fact that it does not look like a Sunday School lesson, full of ‘churchy’ graphics; nor does it assume that readers know anything about the Bible or Christianity. Unlike the majority of Christian children’s pages, it is therefore very accessible to children with no Christian background. It also avoids preachiness, talking down to kids, or generally having a high ‘cringe’ factor. As so often in online evangelism, less is more.”

Tony recommends that churches who don’t have a kids section on their own website can link to the KidsRanch. If you’d like to link to it, I’ve set up a page to make it easy at kidsranch.org/.

Andrew Careaga, who lives in Missouri and literally wrote the books on E-vangelism (e-vangelism.com) and E-Ministry (eministryonline.com) says:

“We ring in the New Year with an excellent new evangelistic site for children, KidsRanch. … KidsRanch features plenty of games, jokes, stories (in text and video) and other interactivities (cursor-chasing ants and a virtual piano, to name a few) to keep kids — and adults — entertained for hours.”

And from Karl Bastian, Children’s Pastor in Barrington, Illinois and founder of Kidology University for children’s workers (kidology.org), comes my favorite review:

“Hey, Kids! This is the best site I’ve ever found for kids! You will find LOTS of really cool stuff to do!”

So if you haven’t visited the KidsRanch yet, it’s worth a peek at kidsranch.org.

Upcoming Book

One of the most common struggles that people write to me about is in the area of sexuality. I’m hoping to summarize some of the hundreds of letters I’ve written on this topic in a new book. This is a huge undertaking for me and I need God’s help to carve out the time to work on this project. Since I know prayer works, I’d love your prayers that God will help me write this book.

My hope is to have it finished in time for the annual Exodus International conference in August where I’ve been asked to speak on this topic.

Still Waters

A friend of ours, Jennifer Ramsey, is a beautiful pianist and often plays during communion at our church to help lead people into their own quiet times with God. I was blessed recently to help her record some of this music so people can use it in their own quiet times at home. You can listen to all of the songs at The Ranch at Still Waters.

If you’d like to order a copy of the whole CD, just fill out the Response Form. I believe the music will really bless you…and your gifts in return will help us to reach out to others with the love of Christ.

Please Pray with Us

On the home front, I’d appreciate your prayers for my Dad as he recovers from bypass surgery on his heart. The extended time I’ve spent with him the past month has been a great reminder of the gift of life and breath God’s given freely every day to each of us…and to those we love.

Thank you, Lord,

  • for the gift of life and breath,
  • for drawing thousands to the KidsRanch to learn about You,
  • and for creating each of us with a purpose and faithfully fulfilling it in our lives.

And Lord, we now ask

  • for You to speak to the hearts of those You want to join us in this work,
  • for the time and wisdom to write this book for those who struggle with sexuality,
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We Appreciate Your Support!

This ministry is funded entirely by people like you.  In appreciation of your support, we’d be glad to send you a copy of Jennifer Ramsey’s CD “Still Waters.”  Just visit The Ranch Giftshop.  You can listen to the songs on this CD here.

You can also donate online or by mail by clicking here. You will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Eric Elder Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

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