News From The Ranch – February 2007

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

A missions trip to the UK, “What God Says About Sex” now in paperback, more worship possibly coming to The Ranch website.

The Elder family dressed up for our church's annual Christmas production, "Bethlehem Walk," in December 2006. The back four, from left to right are: Karis, Lucas, Lana, Eric. The front row includes: Kaleo, Bo, Makari and Josiah. Click the picture if you'd like to print it to use as a prayer reminder for us. Thanks!

The Elder family dressed up for our church’s annual Christmas production, “Bethlehem Walk,” in December 2006. The back four, from left to right are: Karis, Lucas, Lana, Eric. The front row includes: Kaleo, Bo, Makari and Josiah. Click the picture if you’d like to print it to use as a prayer reminder for us. Thanks!

Dear Friends,

February 9th marks my 20th anniversary of when I put my faith in Christ. I knew on that day that this was going to be a significant decision, probably the most important decision I would ever make in my life. How true that has turned out to be!

I’ve thought several times over the years of what a difference it has made in my life to put my faith in Christ. Not just in giving me assurance that I knew I would be with God in heaven when I died, but also in giving me direction for my life here on earth. Although I woke up and went to work in much the same way the day after I put my faith in Christ as the day before, on the inside, everything had been rearranged. I felt like I was on a whole new course for my life. My goals were different, my worldview was different, and my heart was set in a new direction.

Over time, those changes in my goals, my worldview, and my heart played out in my external life as well as my internal life. I’ve since gotten married, had six kids, and gone into full-time ministry. Those things didn’t all happen in a day, but the stage was set for those things to happen from the first day I put my faith in Christ.

I’ve come to love the Christian life, and Christianity itself, so much that even if only for the practical advantages of this kind of life, let alone the spiritual ones, I would encourage others to follow the way of Christ. But I am also convinced that it is our faith, our complete trust in God in all things, that breathes life into Christianity. It is our faith in God that pleases Him more than anything. In fact, the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

I know that faith isn’t easy to come by some days. I know that life gets in the way of our faith sometimes. I know that it’s hard to trust Him completely when so much is riding on the outcome of our daily decisions. But it is our faith that will see us through. It is our faith that will carry us along. It is our faith that will bring a smile to the face of God, a faith that believes that He exists, a faith that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

If you’ve never put your faith in Christ, I want to encourage you to put your faith in Him today. If you’ve already put your faith in Christ, I want to encourage you to put your faith in Him again today for everything in your life…everything. He is trustworthy. He loves you. He cares for you. And He is so pleased, so totally pleased, when you put your faith in Him.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

I also have a number of updates I’d like to share with you, including offering you a new paperback version of my book on sex, asking for your prayers for a missions trip to England, and an update on on our funding requests from last time.


Now In Paperback!

What God Says About Sex CoverIf you’ve wondered what God has to say about sex, or if you know someone who could use a godly perspective on sex, I hope you’ll get a copy (or two or three or ten!) of my new book: “What God Says About Sex.” While I’m still working on finding a publisher for the book, I’ve had a number of requests for it in paperback, so I’ve gone ahead and printed up 200 copies of the book for those who would like copies of the book now.

Jill Savage, Founder and Executive Director of an organization for moms called “Hearts at Home,” is one of the people who read a preview copy of the book and has asked if she could carry it on her personal book table as she goes around the country speaking to moms and other groups. She’ll be speaking at a purity conference this month, and I’m praying that many will pick up a copy at the conference and that it will make a real and lifelong difference in the way they look at, and engage in, sex.

Jill has also agreed to personally endorse the book! In her endorsement, she writes:

“Eric Elder has the ability to take a complicated subject and simplify it for the everyday reader. He talks about truth in such a way that the reader can’t help but to be drawn in.”

I’d love to get a copy of the book to you, too. You can order it from the Giftshop at The Ranch in a variety of affordable formats and gift-packs:

  • – an electronic version, emailed to you ($5 suggested donation)
  • – a paperback version ($10 suggested donation, shipping included)
  • – a set of 3 paperbacks to share ($25 suggested donation, shipping included)
  • – a set of 5 paperbacks to share ($40 suggested donation, shipping included)
  • – a set of 10 paperbacks to share ($75 suggested donation, shipping included)
  • – a signed copy of the book ($100 suggested donation…well, OK, I’ll sign it for free, but the $100 would really help us to print more books for others in the future!)

To order, just click this link to visit The Ranch Giftshop.


Headed to England!

UK TeamLast year on our missions trip to Africa, we stopped in England and visited a church that our church here in Illinois has helped to support over the years. As we toured the church, Lana noticed a number of repair projects that needed to be done that she thought of several people back home who would be great at doing them. So when we returned from Africa, we began to make plans for a return trip to England some day. That day has come!

We’ll be heading out to Tunbridge Wells, England, with a team of 8 people from our church, including Lana, Karis, and me, on Friday, February 9th, for 11 days. Our team will be doing a variety of projects, from plumbing and painting, to cleaning and laying carpet. We’re excited about being able to help out in this way, as attendance at churches in England has become quite low over the years, with only about 8% of the population attending regularly. We’re proud of the work this church in Tunbridge Wells is doing for their community, and we’re glad to come alongside and lend a hand.

We’d appreciate your prayers for this trip, that our efforts would be fruitful in many ways, for our team, for this church, and for the work God is doing in England.

UPDATE MARCH 3, 2007: We had a great trip to England, accomplishing all we set out to do and more. It was a face-lift for the church, and faith-lift for all of us involved. 


FUNDING UPDATE

Thermometer 51In my last newsletter, I laid out our funding goals for the new year and wanted to give you an update. We’ve had 15 families and individuals either increase their monthly donations or join us for the first time making monthly donations, for a total increase of $480 per month.

This has already helped us as we begin the new year, taking us from 44% of the way towards our monthly goal, to 51%. Our goal is to raise $6,310 in monthly commitments by the end of the year, so we’re just over half way there. We also had another 7 families and individuals contribute a total of $3,000 in one-time gifts. So thank you for all who have contributed so far. This is our most pressing need, so if you would like to partner with us in this ministry with a monthly gift, you can sign up easily online by clicking this link.

Click here to watch a short 5-minute video about our ministry and how you can get involved.


Thanks to all of you who have given and prayed for our ministry. I get comments regularly from people who are touched and thankful for the Word of God that they’ve read or heard or seen on The Ranch website, like this one from Kevin in California:

“My first visit here was an emotional and heartfelt experience. The peace, tranquility and serenity of this site is overwhelming. Thank you and I pray for you a Blessed New Year.”

And this one from Esther in Kenya:

“I wish to start my day by reading inspiring messages and sermons from you. God has bless you with wisdom and its good you are an inspiration to others. When we get to heaven God will ask each and every one us what did you do with the talents I gave you. Continue and know that your crown will be more beautiful for the good work you do. God do you good.”

CLOSING PRAYER

Your prayers really do help us to touch people. I’d appreciate if you’d pray with us again right now…

Father,

  • Thank You for giving us the chance to keep putting our faith in Jesus for everything in our lives,
  • Thank You for helping us put together a team of people to go to England to help those who are bringing the gospel to their community,
  • And thank You for the monthly and one-time donations that have come in to help us reach more people around the world with the message of Christ.

Father,

  • We now pray that You would use this trip to England as a blessing to many, both now and in the future,
  • We pray that You would use this book on sex to help many people make commitments to following Your ways regarding their sexual lives,
  • And we pray that still more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thanks for your prayers!

Sincerely,
Eric Elder

Click here to order “What God Says About Sex”

Click here to sign up for monthly donations to The Ranch website

The Ranch Fellowship is a non-profit 501(c)(3) religious organization whose purpose is to share the message of Jesus Christ throughout the world. Click here to read more about our ministry.

To give a gift to The Ranch and to yourself, please visit The Ranch Giftshop.
To make a donation without ordering, just click Make A Donation.

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