News From The Ranch – October 2001

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

What God Says about Fear, Helping others believe, and special gifts.

What God Says About Fear

What does God say about fear? Let Him encourage you that you can always trust Him – listen to “What God Says about Fear”.

Can You Help Me Believe?

We’ve received several emails here at The Ranch since September 11th expressing this common theme: “Can you help me believe?”

I was especially moved by the honesty expressed in this letter:

“I hate to be so blunt, but how can there be a God? I am 33 and have spent at least 25 years trying to believe there is one. But there isn’t. I wish there were. I was pretty convinced there wasn’t a God after the World Trade Center was attacked. There was a little girl born 2 days after her father was killed there. She will never hear her father say I love you, will never play horsy on his knee. She will never dance for him or make funny faces for him. She will grow up, get married, and have children who will never know their grandfather…There can’t be a loving God.

“A friend said that good comes from evil, and to look at all the people swarming into churches now. If that was why God let such things happen, then I say that was pretty mean.

“You might not believe me, but I do want to believe in God. My daughter goes to a Christian preschool. I read her Christian bedtime stories and always read a bedtime prayer. I want her to believe. Can you help me believe?”

Those last two lines just pierce my heart: “I want her to believe. Can you help me believe?”

I’ve spent much of my life and my ministry helping people to do that very thing. Yet each time I hear the question asked with such honesty, it makes me call out to God again for His answer. It always feels like there’s a huge, invisible wall separating belief and unbelief, faith and doubt. How can we, as Christians, get people over, or past, or through this wall?

The answer I hear most often from God is this: share your faith. Whenever we have something that other people need, God wants us to share it with them. If you’ve got faith, share it.

Often, what people need to see is someone who has found what they’re looking for. When you share your faith with them, it lowers the wall between belief and unbelief. While the wall may still seem high, it at least makes the wall surmountable.

Your testimony will give them what they may need most: hope. Hope that their search is not in vain. Hope that the promises of scripture are true (“You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart” – Jeremiah 29:13, NIV). Hope that God is still alive and cares about them, too.

One of the reasons the song Amazing Grace is so popular is that it gives people hope. The words offer hope for anyone who is seeking God’s transforming work in their life: “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”

You don’t have to be a theologian to help people believe. You don’t have to be a scientist. You don’t have to have all the answers, or even one-tenth of the answers. You just have to share how Christ has changed your life – how you came to believe in Him.

If you’ve got faith in Christ, now’s the time to share it! If you don’t have it, now’s the time to look for it! When you seek God with all your heart, you will find Him, even though “he is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:11b, NIV).

What God Says about Fear

Although it was a surprise to us, I suppose it wasn’t a surprise to God that we finished our latest pocket CD on “What God Says about Fear” the week before the September 11th attacks. I wish we were smart enough to say this was because of our foresight, but we’re not. It does indicate to me, though, that God cares deeply about people’s fears.

My good friend, Russell Pond, runs an Internet ministry that deals exclusively with fear, anxiety and panic attacks (www.season.org). The week after the attacks, he wrote:

“When those terrorists attacked last week, their ultimate goal was not to destroy a building – their goal was to destroy our peace. Their target was the hearts of Americans. That’s why they are called terrorists – they invoke terror; they impart fear. If you are less likely to fly in a plane, go up into a high building or travel to New York because of the terrorist attack, then their attack on our peace was successful.”

“If you are feeling anxious and fearful, let me encourage you to run to God. Seek his peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Seek his hand of protection and guidance through this difficult time. If you are less likely to do things because of these terrible events in New York, pray for courage. Don’t let terrorists run your lives. Don’t let fear take control. Trust God to take care of you and let his peace rule in your life and your mind.

“Jesus said, ‘I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid’ (John 14:27).”

If you need God’s peace right now, I hope you’ll listen to this five-minute CD on our website at WhatGodSays.com or request a copy on the enclosed order form. You might also want to visit Russell’s website at www.season.org.

And if you need someone to talk to or pray with, write us here at The Ranch. We’ll have someone write back to you personally – someone who may have found exactly what you’re looking for.

Ranch Update

We’re still praying about the possibility of developing a “real” ranch where we could invite people to come and could grow in their relationships with God. I’ve submitted a proposal to a man who owns some property near here who has a similar vision. Please pray with us that God would reveal His will to us all.

TBN Interview

I’d also appreciate your prayers for an upcoming television interview on our local TBN station (Trinity Broadcasting Network, WTTO – 35). I’ll be sharing my faith and praying for people who call into the program.

The broadcast will air live in the Chicago/Peoria/Bloomington area on Friday November 2nd from 10:30 am to 12 noon. We’re praying that God would draw those who need to watch and that He would touch their hearts in a deep and lasting way.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for letting us find You when we seek You;
  • for Your Word that gives us peace in the midst of our fears;
  • and for drawing people to The Ranch in answer to our prayers.

And Lord, we now ask:

    for Your help as each of us shares our faith with others;

  • for Your will to be revealed regarding a “real” ranch;
  • and that more people will find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Two Gifts at Once

I’ve heard from many of you that you really appreciate that everything on our website is free. We offer all the stories, video broadcasts, music, and personal prayer freely to over 5,000 visitors a month from over 120 countries.

I’ve also heard from many of you that you would like copies of some of the things you’ve heard here. So we’ve made several items available in CD format so you can share them with your friends or enjoy them when you’re not online.

When you order gifts from The Ranch, you’re actually giving two gifts at the same time: one to your friend (or yourself!) and one to our ministry.

Christmas

100% pure piano performed by Marilyn Byrnes. Features contemporary versions of 11 Holiday classics including Silent Night, The First Noel, The Holly and the Ivy, O Holy Night, and Joy to the World.

Listen Here

Still Waters

100% pure piano performed by Jennifer Ramsey. Features fresh versions of 15 songs of faith including Lord, We Lift Your Name on High, Holy, Holy, Holy, and It Is Well With My Soul.

Listen Here

Clear My Mind

100% pure piano performed by Eric Elder. Features 12 original songs to heal your heart, soothe your soul, and clear your mind. Also includes the 14-Day devotional “Two Weeks With God.”

Listen Here

What God Says

100% pure scripture read to inspiring music. Each of these beautiful pocket CD’s are small enough to fit in a wallet, purse or greeting card, but play on most regular CD players. (They’re designed for CD players in which the disk is set directly on a tray or center spindle, but not for “slot-loading” types in which the CD is inserted like a coin in a slot.) Lana reads approximately 5 minutes of scripture on each CD, set to beautiful music by Chuck Giacinto, Kent Sanders, Brent Mitchell, and myself.

Listen Here

Thanks for helping us share Christ with others!

If you’d like to make a donation without ordering, just click 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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