News From The Ranch – March 2006

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Heading to Africa, New Music, and plans for a new place for spiritual renewal: Clover Ranch.

Eric Elder Family 2004

If you’d like a simple prayer reminder while we’re gone, you can click the picture of our family above and print it out. Tuck it in a book or your Bible or put it up on your fridge and please pray for us especially between March 17th – April 5th.

SPECIAL AFRICAN UPDATE (April 24th)

We’re just back from Africa and have put together a video and slideshow…you can take a look at this link:  Planting Hope In Swaziland

Dear Friends,

We’re just a week away from leaving on our missions trip to Africa!

Thanks to your prayers and support, we’ve reached our fundraising goal so that my wife Lana and I — along with our two oldest children, Karis and Lucas — are all able to go on this trip together.

We’ll be leaving on Friday, March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day here in the U.S.) and will meet over 100 others from around the U.S. in Johannesburg, South Africa. We’ll then travel by bus to Swaziland to plant hundreds of individual vegetable gardens along with the local families in Swaziland.

Thermometer at 100%Over 250 people have donated to our trip to make this possible, and we truly appreciate your help, through your prayers and gifts. They remind me of the Bible verse:

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

I appreciate that so many of you are sending your hearts along with us to Africa. We’ll be there for almost 3 weeks, returning on April 5th.

We’d appreciate your continued prayers for the PEOPLE we will be ministering to:

  • that the gardens we plant would give them long life
  • and that the words we speak would give them eternal life.

You can find out more about our trip at the Heart for Africa website (recently renamed from Dream for Africa as the dream is becoming a reality).

I’ve also included some important announcements below about some great new music on The Ranch website, as well as our recent purchase of a farmhouse to convert into a “real” ranch as a place for spiritual renewal. Thanks again for your prayers and support!


“Sweet Dreams” and “Life”

Sweet Dreams, by Marilyn ByrnesI’ve added several collections of new music to The Ranch over the past few months. They range from the soft and luxurious sounds of 100% pure piano performed by Marilyn Byrnes on her new Sweet Dreams CD, to the driving rhythms of a CD called Life from a band in Texas with a heart for missions called Mission TenForty.

Through special arrangement with these artists, you can listen to their entire CD’s anytime for free streamed from The Ranch website. You’ll also find links to their own websites if you’d like to find out more about them or their music.

Sweet Dreams is the perfect music to give you just that: sweet dreams! Songs include classics like “Brahms’ Lullaby” and “Moonlight Sonata, to contemporary versions of movie themes like “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella, “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas and the theme song from Somewhere in Time.

Life features the full-on sound of the Mission TenForty band and the heart-felt lyrics of Aaron Williams in ten new worship songs. The sound of their music alone was enough to catch my interest, but the words drew me in even further. I’ve added these songs to The Ranch website in hopes that they will inspire you in your own personal worship time and also encourage you to reach out to the world with the message of Christ.


Exodus Study Continues

Join us for our new online Bible study, Exodus: Lessons In Freedom, which focuses on how to get free, stay free and set others free.

You can continue to watch as we study through the book of Exodus. We’re currently half-way through this year-long study, having just finished Lesson 25 out of 50.

I also write a short devotional version of this study for those who aren’t able to watch the full half-hour webcast. To receive these weekly devotoinals, make sure you’re signed up for our Webcast Reminders.

To watch the half-hour videos each week, just visit the Exodus study home page.


Clover Ranch

Clover RanchIn answer to many years of praying for a “real” ranch, our ministry has just completed the purchase of the farmhouse where I grew up here in Central Illinois.

Having grown up in the country, I’ve always appreciated the way wide-open spaces can create a sense of rest and renewal. I’d love to share that experience with others.

It’s going to take some time and effort to develop this project, but I wanted to let you know how your prayers are being answered! We’re calling it “Clover Ranch,” because of the abundance of clovers on the property — in particular the number of 4-leaf clovers I’ve sought and found there over the years. My prayer is that others who visit will do some seeking and finding on their own, not of clovers, but of God!

I’ll be sharing more in the coming months about this project and some of the ways you can be involved with it. In the mean time, we’re hoping to have a Prayer/Dedication service on the property on Saturday, May 13th. If you’d like to join us in Chenoa, Illinois for this special time of prayer, let me know and I’ll send you details when they’re ready.


Please Pray With Us

Father,

  • Thank You for providing all the funds needed for our trip to Africa — and for those whose hearts are going with us through their prayers and gifts,
  • Thank You for the talented musicians who have created music to lift our souls and encourage us in our faith,
  • And thank You for working out the details so we could purchase Clover Ranch as a place for spiritual renewal.

Father,

  • We now pray that You would keep our family safe, both at home and on our trip as we travel to Swaziland, and for the people that we will be ministering to, that the gardens we plant would give them a long life and that the words we speak would give them eternal life.
  • We pray that You would help us to convert Clover Ranch into a place that can bring spiritual renewal to those who visit there in the future.
  • And we pray that You would continue to help people find their way to The Ranch website so they can find their way to You.

We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thanks!

Eric Elder

P.S. You can also request a copy of the “Sweet Dreams” piano CD for a donation of any size to our ministry ($15 suggested). Just visit The Ranch Giftshop.

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.

News From The Ranch – December 2005

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

New Christmas Stories, Africa update, and prayers for a new book about sex.

For a boost in your faith this Christmas, take a look at three of the Christmas Stories I've written for our church's annual "Bethlehem Walk."

For a boost in your faith this Christmas, take a look at three of the Christmas Stories I’ve written for our church’s annual “Bethlehem Walk.”

Dear Friends,

This weekend, Lana and I are going to be two of the storytellers in our church’s “Bethlehem Walk.” For the last few years, I’ve written the story for this event to encourage people in their faith. Since most of you reading this newsletter live too far away to come see it in person, I’ve posted these short Christmas stories on the Internet to encourage you in your faith, too.

This year’s story is called “Always Trust The Storyteller.” You can read it at the link below, along with the stories from previous years. You might even like to tell these stories to your own family or friends sometime during this Christmas season.
Click here to read the Christmas Stories!

Get a wristband!I also wanted to thank you for your prayers and gifts towards our upcoming missions trip to Africa that Lana, Karis, Lucas and I are planning to take next year. (Update: as of Feb 1st, 2006, we’ve had 175 people make donations to the trip totaling just over $14,000, which is 100% towards our goal for this trip! Thanks so much for all who’ve given. Please be in prayer for the people we will be working with in Swaziland. Our trip dates are March 17-April 5, 2006.)

I know that many of you have given sacrificially for us to go.We even had one donor, totally unknown to us, who just “happened” to come across our website on the Internet and wrote us a check for $5,000 towards the trip from an inheritance he had received! Only the hand of God could be directing people to give like they are…in ways that we KNOW He is answering all of our prayers.

Lana gave an excellent talk about our trip to our church’s “Young at Heart” group, sharing her thoughts about the trip and answering some of the questions that she herself has had about it, like, “Why don’t we just send the $14,000 directly to Africa instead of going ourselves?” Her answers are helpful for understanding why God does things the way He does. I thought you’d be interested to read Lana’s thoughts, so I’ve posted the notes from her talk on the website at the link below.
Click here to read Lana’s notes on Africa!

(Although we’ve raised all the funds we need, we still have a few wristbands left if you’d like to order one to remind you to pray for our trip. Any donations given for wristbands will help fund other projects we are undertaking.) For a donation of any size, we’d be glad to send you a reminder wristband that says “God is Here” on it, to remind you that God is always with you, and also to remind you to pray for our trip.
Make a Donation – Get a wristband!

Lastly, I’ve just finished writing a book that I’ve been working on for several years to encourage people to learn and apply to their lives what God says about sex. I’ve just sent it off to a publisher who is considering publishing it. I believe this book will be helpful to many, many people who need encouragement to “do the right thing” in this area. Would you pray with me this month that God would put the manuscript in the right hands so that it could be published and distributed to as many people as possible? I have been praying about this project for many years, and would ask that you please pray with me about it, too. I’ll let you know more about it as it gets closer to publication.

Thanks so much! We really appreciate all of your prayers, gifts, and words of encouragement!

I’d love it if you could pray with me right now.

Father,

  • Thank You for this Christmas time to remember all that You’ve done for us and to be able to give gifts in Your name to those who have touched our lives. Let those who receive our gifts receive Your love along with them.
  • Thank You for moving on people’s hearts to give towards our trip to Africa. It shows Your heart for the people who live there.
  • And thank You for helping me to finish the manuscript for this book project in order to bring Your Word to many more people.

Father,

  • We now pray that You would help us to raise the final funds for our missions trip.
  • That You would put the manuscript for this book into the hands of the people who can take it to the ends of the earth.
  • And that You would help still more people find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Merry Christmas!
Eric Elder

P.S. Remember, if you can make a donation of any size to our ministry, we’ll be glad to send you a reminder wristband! You can make a donation and get a wristband from this link

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.

News From The Ranch – October 2005

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

How can we know when God is speaking to us? Sometimes it’s a matter of connecting the prayers on our heart with the answers when they come.

Dream For Africa

Dear Friends,

I had a dream back in January that’s still on my mind 10 months later. I’m somewhat hesitant to share the dream with you, because I don’t want to look like a fool, and I don’t know how some of you might feel about God speaking through dreams. But as I’ve continued to pray through and see God’s hand at work since this dream, I feel it might be helpful to share as background for why Lana and I, and our two oldest kids, are planning to take a missions trip to Africa next March.

In the dream, someone was there in my bedroom and we were talking. He was standing by the corner of one end of the dresser and I was standing at the other. I was asking him question after question and he was answering me. I didn’t remember meeting him before, but he had a distinct face and build. He was polite and helpful. He was in ministry and answering as if a ministry consultant.

I can’t remember any of the questions I asked except the last two. I asked him, “What do you do when you’ve pursued all the avenues you can think of and still don’t have much money for ministry?” I told him, “Our assets outweigh our liabilities and we’re still in the black after 10 years. But I don’t know what to do next. Do you know anything about that?”

He said, “Yes, I do. Actually, we’re doing OK in that.” Then he looked down and said, “No, we’re not.” He added, “There’s something called ‘charitable giving.’ I have (something) in my garden.” I couldn’t make out what the “something” was, but I saw him walk over to it in his garden. It looked like a footlong thermometer with something green marking the temperature line, like green mercury. He thought for another few seconds and said, “Let me pray about it. I want to ask ‘How can I serve you?’ ”

I started to wake up from the dream and wanted to ask one more question, but kept waking up. So as if reaching back into the dream I shouted back, “What is your name?” I was fully awake now and his face changed to someone I recognized. He said, “My name is Bruce Wilkinson and I’m about to expand your borders.”

That last line made me sit up in bed and I wrote down everything I could remember about the dream, which I’ve just related to you.

I’ve never met Bruce Wilkinson, but he wrote a popular book a few years ago called “The Prayer of Jabez.” Like many others, I read that book and started praying for God to expand my borders, and before I even finished the book I saw a fairly miraculous answer! (You may remember that’s when USA Today contacted me to ask if they could write a feature story about our Internet ministry in their paper) My cousin happened to meet Bruce Wilkinson one day after he spoke at her church and she shared my story with him. Bruce told her to have me post it on his website for others to see, which I did.

Later, Bruce used a brief version of my story in a study guide he wrote called “The Prayer of Jabez Bible Study.” Then in October 2004, I got a letter from his publisher asking for permission to possibly print a longer version of the story in Bruce’s sequel to “The Prayer of Jabez.” They weren’t sure yet if they were going to use it, but said they wanted to send me a complimentary copy of the book when it came out either way when the book came out in February, 2005.

Back to my dream in January, 2005…

Beyond JabezWhen I woke up, I wondered if the upcoming book might be related to how Bruce was going to “expand my borders” (as the dream version of Bruce had told me!) I was excited to think that God might publish my story, and maybe include a mention of The Ranch website in his sequel, called “Beyond Jabez.” That would certainly be one way to quickly expand my borders!

Over the next few weeks, I kept checking the mail for a copy of the book and checking the bookstores in case it came there first, which it did. When I saw it in the bookstore, I quickly skimmed through the pages, looking to see if my story or my website address appeared anywhere. I was bummed for a minute when I got to the end and it wasn’t in there.

The reason I was only bummed for a minute was because even though the address of my website wasn’t there, I saw on the back pages the address of another website. It was the website for Bruce’s new project in Africa:www.dreamforafrica.com. Lana and I had just been talking — the very night before — about wanting to go to Africa to try to help with the overwhelming problems facing that continent, something Lana has wanted to do for several years…but we didn’t know where to start!

When I got home from the bookstore, I looked up the website and found that Bruce was calling for 10,000 volunteers to come to Africa in the next year to — guess what? — plant gardens! “Never Ending Gardens,” Bruce called them, gardens that would become a lasting source of food for hundreds of thousands of people in the years to come. Then I remembered my dream, in which the dream version of Bruce wanted to show me something — in his garden! As I began to read the book more closely, Bruce used one phrase over and over in the book, asking people: “How can I serve you?” — the very same question the dream version of Bruce said he wanted to pray about asking me as well!

Up to that point, Lana had been wondering what she could possibly do to help in Africa. When I told her that Bruce’s trip involved planting gardens for 10 days she said, “I can do that!” Bruce really was about to expand our borders — not by mentioning my website in his book, but by mentioning his!

So Lana and I and the kids have spent the last several months praying about if and when and who should go. The problems in Africa are so immense that we’d like to take as many as we can. Since you have to be 13 or older to go on the trip, that meant we could only take our oldest two kids with us, Karis (14) and Lucas (13), so we decided we could be at least 4 of those 10,000 volunteers.

So last month we finally booked our trip, making the deposit with gifts from several of you who have sent us funds for that purpose. We’re planning to go to Swaziland, a country nestled within South Africa, from March 23 through April 1, 2006.

During our 10 day trip, we’ll be planting small individual gardens alongside local Africans — each of us will be planting an average of 100+ gardens while we’re there. The plants are high in immune-building nutrients to help with the rampant problem of AIDS/HIV that has attacked the immune system of so many there. (I was stunned to find out that the average life expectancy for a man in Swaziland is only 37, and for a woman it’s only 34).

So that’s how God can move people from vivid dreams to practical action! It reminded me of the action-stirring dream the apostle Paul had one night,which Luke describes in the book of Acts:

“During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:9-10)

I’ve still never met Bruce Wilkinson and don’t know if I ever will, but I’ve seen the need and heard the call, so I feel I need to respond.

Would you like to get involved, too?

We’re now in the process of raising the rest of the funds for the trip. It costs $3,395 for each of us to go, which includes everything — the starter plants themselves, gardening necessities, food, lodging and travel.

So far we’ve raised $9,054 from 82 people, which is enough for at least 2 of us to go on the trip and about 65% of the goal we need to raise by February 1st, 2006.If you could make a donation of any size to the trip, we’ll be glad to send you a reminder wristband that says “GOD IS HERE” on the front and “theranch.org” on the back — as a way to remind you to pray for our trip, and also as a reminder that God is always with you wherever you go.

You can make a donation to our trip to Africa and order a wristband here:
Make A Donation

You can find out more about Dream For Africa here:
www.heartforafrica.com

P.S. Would you believe I didn’t even catch the connection that it was a “dream” I had about Bruce Wilkinson and gardens in Africa and his organization’s name is called “Dream for Africa” until just this minute when I added their logo graphic to this page? That’s not just odd! That’s GOD!!!


Guy Grimstead’s Piano Music

MeditationThe music at The Ranch continues to be the most popular “draw” that brings people to the website. A woman wrote a few weeks ago:

“I have been here before and didn’t forget the peace that I found…..the music was what drew me and the peace is what brought me back…thanks and God Bless”

I’d like to point out one of the new CD’s added to The Ranch this year. Guy Grimstead’s beautifully rich piano music that has a quality that can make you “melt.” If you haven’t heard it yet, I hope you will soon. When I heard a few 30-second clips on his website, I played them over and over and couldn’t wait to hear the rest. I was thrilled that Guy not only sent me the CD, but allowed me to stream it to you from here at The Ranch.

As you listen, you’ll be able to hear his training in music shine through, but you’ll also hear his unique ability to spontaneously compose a song as he goes along.Would you believe that he created and recorded all of the songs on the CD on the spot? He hadn’t previously written or played any of them before! What a gift! I’m glad he shared it with us and I’m glad we’re able to share it with you. It’s perfect music for meditating, reading, working, or just relaxing and you can listen at The Ranch for free!

Click this link to listen to Guy Grimstead’s CD, “Meditation”:
Listen to the “Meditation” CD


Exodus Devotional

Join us for our new online Bible study, Exodus: Lessons In Freedom, which focuses on how to get free, stay free and set others free.

You can still join us every week for our new online Bible study of the book of Exodus. Watch or read the study at your convenience, then join us for a discussion and prayer time either on the discussion board or in the chat room at The Ranch. There’s no charge to watch or participate in this study.

Here’s a comment from a woman who has been going through the study with us, and even took communion with us in a special service over the Internet:

“I’ve just finished listening to the last Bible study with Eric and shared in the Lord’s Supper with them. I want you all to know that your starting this study was an answer to a plea to God for a Bible study….ou can only go so long without meat. And I was malnourished!!”

And this came just yesterday from a man in Singapore:

“The Ranch is like heaven to me already. I found comfort and solace with Eric’s Bible study on Exodus and others as well. Tears of joy and tears of understanding always comforted me every time I fellowship with You [God] and Eric and the guys in the Bible study room. Many a time I wish I was there with you guys. Guys, God’s presence is with you there, I can feel with my heart rained with joyful tears and comfort beyond words, though I am 1,000’s of miles away here in Singapore.”

You can join us anytime, too, at this link:
Exodus: Lessons In Freedom


CHRISTIANPODDER.COM

Christian PodderEver heard of podcasting? If not, you might take a look at christianpodder.com, which is launching a new website the week of October 24th to feature the teachings, music and inspiration of some of the best known names in Christianity today (and some of the least known, like me!)

It’s a project of LifeWay Christian Resources, a major Christian Publisher of books like Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” and Beth Moore’s online video Bible study, to name just a few.

I’m thrilled to take part in their launch and have uploaded some of my piano music already which is featured on their home page (at least for a few days anyway!) . I plan to upload a special condensed, audio version of the Exodus Bible Study (a less-than 5 minute audio program each week). You can sign up to receive these weekly studies automatically on your computer desktop in MP3 format (an audio file that you can listen to on your computer or put on your iPod music device…hence the name “podcasting.)

Check it out at: christianpodder.com

You can also sign up to get a text version of these short weekly devotionals via email from The Ranch website if you sign up for our Webcast Reminders at this link.


Closing Prayer

I’d love it if you could pray with me right now…and even drop me a note that you did!

Father,

  • Thank You for speaking to us and directing our steps, even through dreams! Thank You that You care about us and about others around the world enough to prompt us to get involved in what You’re doing.
  • Thank You for the talents of people like Guy Grimstead to bring joy and healing through their music.
  • And thank You for Your Word, which is so rich and helpful as we study it.

Father,

  • We now pray that You would equip us all to do Your work, whether it be in Africa or at any other spot on the planet. Raise up the people and the funds to truly make a difference.
  • That You would use these new technologies like “podcasting” to reach even more people with Your Word.
  • And that You would draw people from all parts of the world to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thanks!
Eric Elder

P.S. Remember, if you can make a donation of any size to our trip to Africa, we’ll be glad to send you a reminder wristband! You can make a donation and request one from here:
Make A Donation

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.

News From The Ranch – August 2005

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Finding God is like finding four-leaf clovers, once you recognize the telltale signs of their presence, it’s easier to see them everywhere you look.

4-Leaf Clovers

Maybe you’ve never found a four-leaf clover, but God promises that if you seek Him with all your heart, you WILL find HIM (Jeremiah 29:13).

Dear Friends,

A few months ago, I was thinking about those “reminder bands” that people wear on their wrists. You know, the rubberized “LiveStrong” type wristbands that people wear that say things like, “Pray For Our Troops,” “Fight Cancer,” or “WWJD”? I was thinking about what I would want to remind you of, if I could remind you of just one thing.

A phrase immediately came to mind:

“GOD IS HERE”

I’d want you to remember that no matter where you are, what you’re going through, who you’re interracting with, whatever your situation, that God is there, at this very moment, right there with you. Knowing this one Truth can make all the difference in a situation. And this is a Truth with a capital “T”. GOD IS HERE. The Bible says in Acts 17:27 that He’s not far from each one of us:

“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”

God is so close to each one of us that He wants us to simply reach out for Him and find Him. I know that when I remember that He’s really right here with me, every moment of every day, it relieves much of the pressure, the struggle and the doubt that I’m facing. I can think more clearly, I breathe more easily, I can know with more certainty that when I ask Him for wisdom, He’ll answer me.

The Truth is that GOD IS HERE. Jesus said,

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

But even when we’re by ourselves, God is right there with us, too. Jesus said He would send His Spirit to live within each one of us who have put our faith in Him:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18).

And then He promised that He would never leave us alone. Here are His parting words to the disciples after His resurrection:

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”(Matthew 28:20).

5-Leaf CloversGod is still here with us. I was trying to get this idea across to a group that had gathered for devotions one day at the Cornerstone music festival here in Illinois. When I got to the festival, I had found a four-leaf clover in the grass where we were camping, so I held it up to the group. (For those who may not know, most clover have only three leaves, but it’s a rare find, and some say “lucky,” to find a four-leaf clover.)

As I held up the clover that I’d found earlier that day, I explained that some people might think I was lucky to have found it, and maybe I was. But that’s not the whole truth.The whole truth is that I’ve found more than a hundred four-leaf clovers in my lifetime. When I was a kid, I was so thrilled when I discovered my first one that I began looking for four-leaf clovers everywhere. I would look through the grass when I mowed it on our farm. I would look in the grass when I played outfield in Little League baseball.

And I began to find four-leaf clovers everywhere I looked. Pretty soon, my eye was trained to easily recognize the disctintive four-leaf pattern. I would run across four-leaf clovers even when I wasn’t looking. I would just be walking along with some friends and then, out of the corner of my eye, notice the pattern on the ground, reach down and pick up another four-leaf clover. My friends would be amazed, and even I thought I was pretty lucky. But the truth is that over time, and with practice, I had simply learned how to recognize four-leaf clovers when I encountered them. Even though they were all around us, not everyone could “see” them.

I’ve found the same is true in my relationship with God: over time, and with practice, I’ve been able to recognize God in the midst of my daily life. I see God’s hand at work in the plans I make. I hear His voice telling me whether to go to the right or the left. I often recognize His prompting when He wants me to say or do something.

I remember reading a story in the devotional, “Our Daily Bread” about a boy who was fishing with his Grandfather. The boy asked, “Grandpa, have you ever seen God?” The Granpda took a look at the scene around him and said, “Sonny, the older I get, the more I see Him everywhere I look.”

The good news is that you don’t have to be unusually “lucky” or “special” to have this kind of relationship with God. God makes Himself available to each one of us, and as Paul says in Acts 17, He’s actually very close to each one of us. And He promises us this:

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13).

I know it’s easy for people to question this, but I also know that those who press on seeking God eventually do find Him. Just last week I got an email from a woman who finally found Him, even though she was about to give up her search just a few months ago. In April she wrote me this note:

Hi, My name is Renee and I was sitting at my computer feeling disturbed and having doubt about God and my level of belief. I typed in “having trouble believing in God” and your site was top of the list. … I understand the message of Jesus on an intellectual level but can’t quite make the connection with my heart and soul. It seems every time I make a little progress, doubt comes flooding back in and pushes any hope of connection away. I am at the point that walking away from any further attempts seems the best way for me right now. I guess this is my way of making one last attempt at some kind of connection. I guess what I am trying to relate here is that God doesn’t seem real to me. Just a bunch of stories. It all seems so far fetched…

We wrote back and forth a few times, and she picked up a book I recommended called “The Case For Christ” by Lee Strobel and it began to break down some barriers to her faith. Then she wrote last week to say that she had started attending a small church and the pastor’s wife and a friend prayed for her:

…Saturday morning I woke up and started to have one memory after another of years ago. Situations that were bad, but could have gone horribly bad, except something happened to change the outcome. More and more I realized that God did have a hand in my life. Times I should have been dead but was saved by the smallest of interruptions. I realized it was God’s hand, fell to my knees, wept like a baby, asked God for forgiveness, and promised to give the rest of my life to Him. That was July 2, 2005… I was baptized on July 7th. … You have a great ministry. You helped me to pursue my questions, and pray for a change in heart…. I thank God for your site…. I have to wonder if I hadn’t fallen upon it, would I have given up? Blessings, Renee

I’m thrilled for Renee that God kept His promise. I knew He would, because He is always faithful to His Word. This promise isn’t just for “unbelievers” who need to be reminded of the Truth that GOD IS HERE. It’s also for believers who need to be reminded that GOD IS HERE, very close to each one of us, regardless of the situation or place we find ourselves.

God IS here, and He’s very close to you, too, even right this minute. He’s so close, and He wants you to reach out to Him, to find Him, and to know that He’s with you in your current situation, too. As Paul says, He’s “not far from each one of us.”

I’d like to pray for you that this reality will sink deep into your soul right now.

Father, there are so many times when we feel like You are so far away. We wonder if You hear us, if You care about us, if You realize that we’re sinking. Lord, I pray that You would instill in each of our hearts right now, every person that is reading these words, that You are indeed right here with us. That You do care about what happens to us, what choices we make, what decisions we have before us. That You will reward those who earnestly seek You, who sincerely desire to follow You and honor You. And that You will never, never, never, never, never, never leave us alone. Lord, speak into our hearts right now, send Your Holy Spirit to comfort us, guide us, and speak Your words to us. Lord, we’re listening, and we will keep listening, keep seeking, keep praying, keep calling out to You, until we find You. Thank You for Your promises. We’re holding onto them and we know that You’re holding onto us. We know that You will never let us go. Thank You Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

By the way, I was telling this story about the four-leaf clovers again a few weeks later at a Junior High Camp at Rock River. As if God was confirming the message again, one morning I happened to find 5 more four-leaf clovers and a couple five-leaf clovers, an even more rare find! In the past few weeks I’ve found more than a dozen more! Keep seeking God and you will find Him. Remember Jeremiah 29:13:

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

P.S. I also went ahead and ordered some of those reminder bands for those of you who might want one and had them imprinted with the words “GOD IS HERE.” Check out the “Update On African Missions Trip” update below if you’d like to get one.


Update On African Missions Trip

Reminder BandsWhen I thought of putting the phrase “GOD IS HERE” on a reminder band for people to remember that God was with them, I didn’t have anything in particular in mind to do with them except to encourage people that God is always right here with us. But now I do!

Lana and I, along with our two oldest kids, Karis and Lucas, are in the process of raising money to go to Africa next spring. The purpose is to help plant thousands of individual gardens for families and orphans in South Africa as part of Bruce Wilkinson’s “Never Ending Gardens” project. Bruce (author of “The Prayer of Jabez) describes this project in his most recent book “Beyond Jabez” and is looking for 10,000 volunteers to help in this effort over the next year.

For any donation to our trip to Africa, we’d be glad to send you a “GOD IS HERE” reminder band. We hope it will remind you to pray for our trip, and alsoremind you that God is always right there with you, too. While we’d be grateful for donations of any amount, could I suggest you consider a gift of $25, $50, $75, or $100 or more? Each of us need to raise $3,500 for this trip (which is up sightly from what I mentioned in our last newsletter because of some airfare changes). So to reach our total goal for all 4 of us, it would take a combination of 40 people giving $100 each, 60 people giving $75, 60 people giving $50, and 100 people giving $25. Again, any gift is great, but if you can, would you consider sending one of the larger amounts?

Maybe you know someone else who needs to be reminded that God is with them, too? A daughter, son, friend, co-worker, hair dresser, in-laws, out-laws? 🙂 You might want to order a few reminder bands for them, too.

Maybe you’d even like to come with us? It’s open to anyone age 13 or older. There are several 10 day trips planned for March and April of 2006. You can find out more at the Dream For Africa website (now Heart For Africa) at:
www.heartforafrica.com

(As an update from the last newsletter, we’ve received $200 in cash and pledges for the deposits for 2 of us to reserve a spot on the trip. We still need another $200 for the deposits for the remaining two of us to reserve a spot.)


New Discussion Groups Start In September

Exodus StudyStarting the week of September 11th, we’ll be starting three new discussion groups each week in the Chat Room of The Ranch.

We’ll have a discussion group for men on Sunday nights (6:30-8:00 pm Central), for men and women on Wednesday mornings (7:00-8:30 am Central), and for women on Saturday mornings (9:00-10:30 am Central).

This is a “re-launch” of our new, weekly, half-hour, online video Bible study of the book of Exodus that we began a few months ago. We had a great start for a few weeks, then discovered a technical problem on our web server that needed to be fixed before going any further. I’ve finished reinstalling everything now on an updated system, and we’re ready to kick off again. We’re going to start the discussions again at Lesson 1, so now’s a great time to join this study.

The first dozen or so videos are online already, and future studies will be posted every Friday. For those who can’t make it to a discussion group, you can still interact with others day or night by posting messages on the Discussion Board at The Ranch.

Like everything else on The Ranch website, there’s no charge to watch or to participate in this study. Take a look at the overview, the first several lessons, and the dates and times of the discussion groups at this link.


Closing Prayer

Thanks for everyone who expressed an interest in coming to a Ranch Retreat if we held one. We’re still hoping to put one together soon, but it won’t be this fall yet. We’ll let you know as our plans come together.

I’d love if you could take a minute right now to pray with us.

Father,

  • Thank You for being near each one of us, and for promising that if we seek You we will find You,
  • Thank You for helping us with our plans to go to Africa,
  • And thank You for helping us to recover the website and to “re-launch” the Exodus video study.

Father,

  • We ask that You would help us gather the funds we need to get all 4 of us to Africa next spring,
  • That You would would draw many to take part in our new online study of the book of Exodus, that they would be able to get free, stay free, and set others free,
  • And that You would help even 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.

Live strong in your faith!
Eric Elder

Don’t forget to order a reminder band if you want one! They come in lots of cool colors, including glow-in-the-dark!

Reminder Band Colors

To order and make a donation, click here.

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.

News From The Ranch – May 2005

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Using the Voice of Truth to overcome fear, anxiety and doubt; a new online Bible study of the book of Exodus; a possible ranch retreat, and a missions trip to Africa.

Join us for our new online Bible study, Exodus: Lessons In Freedom, which focuses on how to get free, stay free and set others free.

Join us for our new online Bible study, Exodus: Lessons In Freedom, which focuses on how to get free, stay free and set others free.

Dear Friends,

I got an email last week from a woman struggling with fear, anxiety and doubt. She is normally a strong Christian, someone who regularly encourages others to put their faith in Christ for all things. But a few weeks ago, a situation came up that triggered a huge storm in her heart and mind that has taken more than a week to even begin to calm.

She couldn’t understand why such a little thing, or so it seemed to her, would bother her so much. The sudden rush of fear, anxiety and doubt that came upon her was so strong that she couldn’t shake it off. She was bothered almost as much by the fact that she couldn’t figure out how to shake it off as she was by the triggering event itself. She felt it was silly to be so worked up about it; she knew what she would tell others to do, but she couldn’t seem to hear it when she told herself. For several days she couldn’t sleep or eat. The restlessness was tearing her apart from the inside out.

When she told me and a few others close to her about the intensity of her struggle, she finally started to see some peace return to her. She wrote:

One thing I want to mention while I’m thinking of it is WHEN I get through this (like that positive affirmation?), something that I have come more to know through this is that I AM NOT ALONE, even though Satan tries to make you think you are and your life is unraveling. But it’s something people don’t talk about and are very guarded about. But God put several people directly in my path and with different circumstances but so much similarity to the fear, anxiety, stress, feeling of lots of stuff, and especially the feeling like you can’t possibly share or tell anyone what is happening. Thankfully, I am plugged in to the ministry God designed for you, that even though I felt reluctant at first, probably because of my pride or something, yet I was comfortable enough reaching out to you. That’s why your ministry is so important and vital to a hurting world. I could go on, but you might get the gist of what I’m saying. I’M SUPPOSED TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR MINISTRY IS VITAL VITAL VITAL!

I appreciate her kind words about our ministry, but the bigger point I wanted to draw out of this is that pride often keeps us from getting the help we desperately need. We think we’re all alone in our struggles; we’re afraid to tell anyone, especially anyone who might possibly think less of us because of the struggle. We’re trying to hold it all together, but when we can’t, we’re afraid to tell anyone and risk feeling like even more of a failure. But the quickest way to get back on our feet is often to first get down on our knees. James 4:1 says:

“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.”

Chuck Swindoll writes about this in his book, “Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication”:

“Do you know who it is who keeps erecting all those unrealistic standards in your life? Do you know who keeps raising the bar beyond all hope of clearing it? It’s you. You do. And so do I. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t. The psalmist tells us, He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. We think we’re finished because of our failures, but God says, ‘No you’re just getting started. Press on!’ Our problem isn’t that we’ve failed. Our problem is that we haven’t failed enough. We haven’t been brought low enough to learn what God wants us to learn. We’re still trying to redeem Egypt single-handledly.”

The truth is that we still need God, even when we think we’re a strong Christian. We still can’t do anything without Him. And thankfully, He’s still there to help us. We may have to swallow our pride, but it’s OK, because the truth is, God is very much for us; not because He knows how good we are, but because He knows how much we need Him.

We need to stop listening to the lies of Satan and keep filling ourselves up with the “Voice of Truth.” Do you know that song sung by Casting Crowns? My friend Russell Pond, who ministers regularly to people struggling with fear, anxiety and doubt at his website season.org, told me about the background of that song. He said that this was the first song ever written by Mark Hall. It’s original name was “Fear.” Mark is dyslexic and didn’t see how or why God would use him to write or sing music. After Casting Crowns started to become known to the world, Steven Curtis Chapman helped Mark Hall finish the song and changed the name to what it is now, “Voice of Truth.”

I think it’s awesome that a song that started out with the title “Fear” was transformed into the the chart-topper called “Voice of Truth,” once again disproving Satan’s lies, in this case, that Mark would never be able to sing or write music, and once again giving faith to all of us who hear so that we can trust God to do the same in us, too.

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I’m in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He’s holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. “Boy, you’ll never win!”
“You’ll never win!”

CHORUS:
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

(from “The Voice of Truth,” by Mark Hall and Steven Curtis Chapman)

Don’t give in to the lies of Satan, keep filling yourself with the Voice of Truth!

If you’d like some encouragement on a regular basis to keep listening to God’s “Voice of Truth,” I hope you’ll check out our new online Bible study at The Ranch, which I describe below, along with some other cool new things we’re planning down the road.


New Online Bible Study

Exodus StudyI’d like to invite you to join me for a free, video-based Bible study here on The Ranch website. It’s called Exodus: Lessons In Freedom and the purpose is to help you to get free, stay free and set others free.

The beauty of this study is that you can be involved in this study as much or as little as you’d like. Every Friday morning, I’ll be posting a new, half-hour video on The Ranch website that you can watch anytime on your own, or just read the transcript if you don’t have the time or capability to watch the video. Then, if you’d like to go deeper and interact with me or others around the world who are also doing the study, you can join us on the Discussion Board at The Ranch, or join us for one of our live chats during the week. I’m leading a live discussion group for men on Sunday nights from 7-8:30 pm Central Time, Greg Potzer (creator of “This Day’s Thought” at thisdaysthought.org) will be leading a co-ed discussion group on Wednesday mornings from 7-8:30 am Central Time, and Dwan Avent (a ministry volunteer for The Ranch) will be leading a women’s discussion group on Saturday mornings from 9-10:30 am Central Time.

The study itself grew out of my own personal quiet time with the Lord during the 40-day fast I undertook to pray about the next steps for my own ministry. During this extended time of prayer and fasting, I was reading the book of Exodus, trying to learn from God’s interaction with Moses how He was able to free hundreds of thousands of people. Every day, God put a lesson on my heart that I could apply to my own situation. As I’ve put those lessons into practice over the past year, I’ve found that they worked for me just like they worked for Moses almost 3,000 years ago! God seems to have all the best ideas!

I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned, as I believe these truths apply to anyone who wants to learn how to get free, stay free and set others free. Each half-hour video contains a practical lesson from God’s Word, a time of worship, and a time of intimate discussions with others. I think you’ll find it a fun time of study, fellowship and worship.

Like everything else on The Ranch website, there is no charge to you to watch the lessons or take part in the discussions. Each lesson stands on its own, so you don’t have to watch every lesson to get something out of it (although I’d love for you to join us for the entire series).

You can watch the first lesson this week, which tells how we get into bondage in the first place, then hopefully you’ll join us for the rest! The live discussion groups start the week of May 15th, but feel free to drop in anytime. You can take a look at the first lesson here.

Hope you’ll join us for this cool new study!


A Ranch Retreat?

TrailsWould you be interested in coming to a Ranch Retreat this fall? We’re checking on the details of this possibility now, and it would be great to have your input before we get too far along. Mainly, we’d like to know if you, or maybe your family would like to come for a weekend getaway here in Illinois this coming September/October 2005. The fall leaves should be beautiful that time of year, and the weather should be great for hiking during the day and bonfires at night.

We’re thinking of reserving several rooms or cabins at a retreat setting for a Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning event. There would be time to hear encouraging messages from myself and other speakers, time for worshipping together with some inspiring worship leaders, and plenty of free time to take a walk, hear from God or interact with others.

I’d love to make this happen, but first I need to know if anyone would actually come! If you’re interested, would you mind sending me an email to let me know? Thanks!


Missions Trip to Africa

Map of AfricaLastly, I’d like to ask you if you could help us out.I’ve been praying for several years that God would raise up a missions opportunity for my family and our ministry to practically help others around the world, and Lana has had a lifelong dream of doing something to help with orphans in Africa.

I believe our opportunity has come. Lana and I, along with our two oldest children, Karis and Lucas, are planning to take a short-term missions trip to Africa sometime within the next year. We’re planning to go with a new organization called Dream For Africa, headed by Bruce Wilkinson (author of “The Prayer of Jabez,” among other things). Our trip would involve going with a team of people to help plant individual gardens for families and orphans throughout South Africa. They are trying to recruit 10,000 volunteers to help plant hundreds of thousands of these “Never Ending Gardens” in various African countries.

We would like to be at least 4 of those 10,000 volunteers. I’ll be talking more about this in the future (maybe it’s a trip you’d even consider taking with us?), but for now, we’d like to begin raising our funds to go. Would you consider making a special donation towards this trip for us? Initially, we need to make a $100 deposit for each of us in order to get the ball rolling. Would you like to help us make that first deposit for one, two, three or all four of us? Eventually we’ll need to raise $3,000 each for this trip. In some ways, that is a huge amount of money, but in other ways, I feel it is just the beginning of what God wants to do, and is doing, to mobilize people to help with this epidemic. The sooner we raise the money, the sooner we’ll be able to go, but our current target is to raise the funds in time for a trip scheduled for March of 2006.

If you’d like to help us with our initial deposit of $100 each, or give towards our total goal, you can see how to make a donation on our website.

Please specify that your donation is for us to go on our Africa trip. For more information about Dream for Africa (now Heart for Africa) and their trips, visit:

http://heartforafrica.org


Closing Prayer

I’d love if you could take a minute to pray with us right now.

Father,

  • Thank You for being for us, and for speaking into our lives with Your Voice of Truth,
  • Thank You for those who have helped us to create the new Exodus study to encourage people in their faith on a weekly basis,
  • And thank You for opportunities to serve You and make a difference in the world.

Father,

  • We ask that You would draw many to take part in our new online study of the book of Exodus, to help them join the study so they can get free, stay free and set others free.
  • That You would guide us as we plan for a possible fall retreat and a missions trip to Africa,
  • And that You would help even 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

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.

News From The Ranch – April 2005

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Thoughts on the passing of Pope John Paul II and Terri Schiavo, a new film to encourage you to keep your eye on the goal called “Footsteps In The Snow,” and Eric’s article in “Decision” magazine.

Footsteps in the Snow

“Footsteps In The Snow”, by Russell Pond, is one of the new films we’ve just added to The Ranch.

Dear Friends,

I remember when Mother Teresa and Princess Diana died within days of each other almost seven years ago. Their lives became permanently linked together, not so much for what they had done with their lives, but by the close timing of their deaths. Mother Teresa was 87, and Princess Diana was 36.

This past week, as we watched the final days for two more people here on earth, again their lives have become etched together in many minds, not so much for what they had done with their lives, but by the close timing of their deaths. Pope John Paul II was 84, and Terri Schiavo was 41.

For all the differences in the way they may have lived and died, I was struck by one similarity they have in common with each other, and with all of us. I was reading a passage this week in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 where the Apostle Paul wrote these words about his own life almost 2,000 years ago:

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

We all have physical bodies that will eventually deteriorate. But we also all have spiritual souls that will live forever. Because we live in our bodies every day, we often focus on them. But the truth is that we are designed to live eternally.

To paraphrase the French philosopher Teilhard de Chardin:

“We are not just human beings having a temporary spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings have a temporary human experience.”

One of the secrets of living well is dying well, and the way to die well is to know for sure what will happen to us after we die. Jesus tells us we can know for sure what will happen to us after we die, if we are willing to put our faith in Him:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The Apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, put it this way:

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

If we’ve put our faith in Christ, we know that we will live with Him forever. By keeping our eyes on this eternal truth, it can make anything we face on this earth all the more bearable, and not only bearable, but we can live with confidence, certainty, and peace, for we know that there is more to life than what we see with our eyes.

Billy Graham, commenting on the death of Pope John Paul II, said:

“May his death remind each of us that some day we too must die and enter into God’s presence – and may we each commit ourselves afresh to Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation.”

That is a commitment I want to make afresh today, and I pray you will make it with me as well, even right now. Would you pray with me?

Father, I commit myself to You again today. I put my full faith and trust in Jesus Christ, knowing that He died and rose again for my salvation. Thank You Lord for taking away my sin on the cross. Thank You Lord for giving me hope and showing me how to live well by showing me how to die well. Lord, help me live for You today. Help me focus on You in a way that my troubles will seem “light and momentary,” too, just as they did for the Apostle Paul. From this moment on, I commit myself again to living my life fully for You, fixing my eyes squarely on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. It’s in His strong and powerful name that I pray, Amen.


Footsteps In The Snow

If you need help keeping your perspective, I’d like you to watch a short film that I’ve added to The Ranch this week called “Footsteps In The Snow”. It’s only 2 minutes and 45 seconds long, but it contains a powerful message that will help you keep your eyes on the goal.

This film was created by my good friend, Russell Pond, who sent it to me a few weeks ago to ask for my thoughts on it. I happened to be in the middle of an intense writing project and was getting bogged down in the details. As I watched this film, it cleared my mind and helped me to keep before me the goal to which Christ had called me. I’ve watched it several times over the last few weeks, and each time, I’ve been strengthened in my resolve to keep my eyes on the goaland not get sidetracked by the never-ending details of life. I hope it will do the same for you!

You can watch it here in several formats, or read the transcript if for some reason you can’t see the video.

My thanks to Russ for allowing me to stream it over the Internet at no cost to you! If you like the film and would like to order a copy on DVD for use in sermons, at youth groups, on retreats, or at other venues where it may help to inspire others, just visit Russ’s website at:
http://toppup.com


“Decision” Magazine Article

Using The Gifts God Has Given You, by Eric Elder

Using The Gifts God Has Given You, by Eric Elder, for Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine, April 2005.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an article I wrote for this month’s “Decision” magazine, the monthly magazine of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Because April 24th has been designated by a number of organizations as “Internet Evangelism Day,” the editor at Billy Graham’s magazine called me to ask if I would write about how I share my faith with others over the Internet.

I was thrilled for the opportunity to write to their 800,000 subscribers (!), not just about how I share my faith on the Internet, but how God has gifted each of us to be able to share our faith in unique ways. It’s called “Using The Gifts God Has Given You.”

You can read the article online at Billy Graham’s website at the link below, or look for it on page 30 of the print edition of April’s “Decision” magazine:
http://www.billygraham.org/DMag_article.asp?ArticleID=544

I’d also encourage you to read the entire issue of this month’s “Decision,” which features some other articles on Internet Evangelism, as well as articles on Prayer and Hearing From God written by people like Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows, Henry Blackaby, Greg Laurie, Franklin Graham and Anne Graham Lotz.

To learn more about Internet Evangelism Day on April 24th, visit this link:
http://www.internetevangelismday.com


Visitor Comments

Back at The Ranch, I thought you might like to hear the comments from a few of the visitors to the website last month:

A woman from Massachussets writes: Your website is beautiful…on the outside and the inside. Thank you very much. I will refer others to it for faith and encouragement.

A man from Canada writes: It’s my first time here, and I think I’ve been waiting for you! I pray a special blessing upon you.

A woman struggling with a lack of faith writes: Hi, thank you so much for responding to my prayer request… It was really helpful to get someone else’s view on this and to be able to be completely honest with God (and myself). … It’s not easy… I’m struggling so hard with this at the moment, wanting to surrender to him, but at the same time doubting even the Bible, let alone his love for me… I’m really torn, but i can’t expect anyone to make this decision for me… Thank you so much again for your kindness…

And a woman from Indiana writes: I just “found” this website when searching for some scripture online. I am astonished…although not sure why…I had prayed this morning for God to lead me to Him and away from my own self-centeredness, and here pops up your site with wonderful content to lead me closer to Him. How incredible to be in this Body of Christ. I’m looking forward to having some time to explore further…. Thank you for this, and thank our Heavenly Father who shows us how to use our gifts to his glory.


Closing Prayer

I’d love for you to pray with me.

Father,

  • Thank You for giving us hope that there’s more to this life than what we can see,
  • Thank You for the lives of Terri Schiavo and Pope John Paul II and for the reminder their deaths give us to keep putting our faith in You,
  • And thank You for people like Billy Graham who can inspire us to do more to reach out to others around the world.

Father,

  • We ask that You help us keep our eyes on the goal, and not get bogged down in the details of life,
  • That You would speak to many people through the article in “Decision” magazine, to encourage them to use their gifts to share Christ with others,
  • And that You would help 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! Have a blessed day! Remember, there’s more to life than what you can see!

Sincerely,
Eric Elder

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.

Using The Gifts God Has Given You

Note from Eric:  I was asked to write an article for Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine about our Internet outreach at theranch.org for the April 2005 issue.  Here’s the text of the article, with links to the print and online versions.

Decision Magazine Cover, April, 2005, featuring Eric Elder and The Ranch inside

Cover of Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine , April, 2005, featuring an article about Eric Elder and The Ranch inside.

Using The Gifts God Has Given You, by Eric Elder

Using The Gifts God Has Given You, by Eric Elder, for Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine, April 2005.

Using The Gifts God Has Given You

by Eric Elder
for Billy Graham’s Decision Magazine, April 1, 2005

I wish I were a great evangelist. I have dreams about preaching to millions and seeing them come to Christ. But the reality is that people haven’t been knocking on my door asking me to preach in their stadiums.

But my heart, my desires and my prayers are still set in that direction. Why? Because my decision to follow Christ was so life-changing that I wish for every person on the planet to experience the same thing.

So when God tugged on my heart 10 years ago and led me to quit my secular job and go into full-time ministry, I started walking in that direction. I didn’t know exactly what He wanted me to do, but I knew that it probably would have something to do with computers. I had just finished creating a Web site for the company where I worked, so I started with what I knew.

I created my own Web site. I typed out the story of how Christ had changed my life, and I posted it on the Internet. A few days later, I got an e-mail message from a man in Athens, Greece. He read my story and asked if I would pray for him. Messages started coming in from places like Seattle; Memphis, Tennessee; and Cairo, Egypt.

Within a year, the Web site was getting more than 800 visitors a month from 72 countries. I posted more testimonies, added some music and began recording video messages to encourage people in their faith. It’s been nearly 10 years since I first posted my testimony on the Internet. Although I rarely get to preach in front of a live audience, I’ve kept walking in the direction God called me. In January more than 10,000 people from 150 countries visited the Web site.

What’s intriguing to me is that many of the people who have put their faith in Christ via my Web site have done so as a result of other people’s stories, words and videos—not just mine. A Buddhist from Malaysia put her faith in Christ after reading about another Buddhist who had done the same. A woman from Illinois was led to Christ in our chat room by a pastor’s wife who also was visiting the chat room. A man from Latvia gave his life to Christ right there in front of his computer after watching a video I had recorded of a friend sharing the Gospel in my living room.

None of these people knew much about computers, but they had a passion for sharing Christ. It wasn’t my words that won the Buddhist to Christ, or the woman in the chat room or the man from Latvia. But I feel that God has honored my desires and my prayers to reach people for Him. Through the abilities He’s given me to type, run a camcorder and create a Web site, He has allowed me to help others fulfill their passions as well.

I still wish I were a great evangelist, and I want to reach as many people as I can for Christ. Maybe you do, too. If so, look again at the gifts God’s already given you. Then set your heart, your desires and your prayers in that direction. Start walking and keep walking. God only knows how many lives could be touched as a result of your obedience to His tug on your heart.

News From The Ranch – March 2005

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Encouragement that God answers prayer and the Online Prayer/Dedication Service

Online Prayer/Dedication Service

Join us for an online prayer/dedication service.

Dear Friends,

I’d like to encourage you that God does answer prayer by sharing some excerpts from some people who recently came to The Ranch asking for prayer.

A visitor who was struggling with depression wrote:

“I was beginning to think this prayer request thing was not going to help…This is so new for me, I am not used to expressing my feelings or asking for help. …I am overwhelmed by your prayer, and that somebody whom I don’t know or have never seen, has taken time out to pray for me….Even if deliverence does not come tonight as I read your prayer for me, it has brought me a comfort that I need right now. I thank you again for sacrificing your time and praying for me, and for having no doubt that God would bring me out, for giving me hope. Thank you. And may God continue to bless and keep you, and use you to bless others even as you have been used to help me.”

A visitor who was struggling with doubt wrote:

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your most compassionate, insightful response to my prayer request. I can’t tell you how much you lifted my spirits…Since your email, I have moved closer to God. I think I felt enormous guilt for having doubts, but now I realize that all people go through times of loneliness and doubt….Bless you for responding to me in such a nonjudgmental way. I think if you had given me the standard Christian platitudes — “pray more, read your Bible more,” etc. — I would have felt completely misunderstood and even more lonely. Bless you for reading between the lines and understanding that I have a tender heart toward God. The last few days in particular I have sensed God’s presence, His comfort. I attribute that to your prayers. You stood in the gap for me when I couldn’t pick myself up and reach out to God myself. Thank you for that. We are all fellow strugglers as we walk on our respective paths. You acted as the Good Samaritan; you ran into me on the path when I was exhausted and you helped me on my way.”

I wish I could say I’ve grasped the depths of all God wants us to know regarding prayer, but I know I haven’t even come close. But I am thankful for His words of encouragement to pray as recorded in 1 John 5:14-15:

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”

I hope this gives you confidence to approach God with your prayers, too.

If you’d like a quiet place to pray, just stop by “A Place to Pray” at the Ranch.

I’ve also heard a number of positive comments from people who have visited the “new” Ranch website that we announced last month.

A visitor from Australia wrote: “What a wonderful website. Lovely design. Crisp, clean. Great layout!”

And a visitor from here in Illinois wrote this glowing review: “I’d like to thank everyone at The Ranch; it is the most worthwhile site I’ve found on the web.” Of course, I’ve seen a lot of worthwhile sites on the web, but I appreciate his sentiment and I’m glad to hear that The Ranch is touching people’s lives.

If you haven’t visited the “new” Ranch website yet, I hope you’ll take a look at theranch.org. I’ve highlighted one of the new video testimonies we’ve added to the website below, as well as details about our Online Prayer/Dedication Service on Friday, March 4th.

Online Prayer/Dedication Service

For those of you who would like to join me in praying for the “new” Ranch website, and to honor those who have helped to create it, please come to our Online Prayer/Dedication Service for the website on Friday, March 4th, 2005 at 1:00 pm Central Time. I know that may be in the middle of the work day for some of you, but I tried to pick a time when people would be by their computers and could also accomodate those involved in our site from various parts of the world.

To come to the service, just meet us in the Chat Room at The Ranch at 1 pm on March 4th. There’s no special registration and you can just “watch” if you want to and pray along we go.

Click this link to visit The Chat Room at The Ranch

Closing Prayer

Whether or not you’ll be able to make it to the Online Prayer/Dedication Service, I’d love it if you would join me in prayer right now.

Father,

  • Thank You for answering our prayers, and for the encouragement that it gives us to continue to pray more,
  • Thank You for the gifts and talents of those who have worked on this new website,
  • And thank You for those who have supported this ministry prayerfully and financially to make this new website possible.

Father,

  • We now ask that You would continue to give us wisdom to share the message of Jesus Christ in the most effective ways possible,
  • That You would protect us from anything that would hinder our work,
  • And that You would help 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

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.

News From The Ranch – December 2004

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Listen to some new Christmas music, and my thankfulness for Christ’s birth.

Eric Elder Family 2004

Eric and Lana Elder with Karis, Lucas, Makari, Josiah, Bo, and Kaleo

Dear Friends,

Much has happened this past year, which I’ll be talking about more in the coming months, but I wanted to send you a brief note today to just let you know how much God loves you and cares about your life. When I think about what my life would be like if Jesus hadn’t been born, it makes me appreciate His birth all the more.

When I put my full faith in Him almost 18 years ago, it completely rearranged my life – not so much in terms of what happened the next day or month or year, but in terms of setting a new path for the rest of my life, one that has since affected almost everything in my daily life since then. The choices I made over the following years, by letting God call the shots, have affected my marriage, my kids, their schooling, my work – literally every aspect of my life from sunrise to sundown, and even after the sun goes down! Had Christ not come into the world and into my life, the choices I would have made over the last 18 years would have been radically different, and my life today would be radically different, too.

I’m so thankful for His birth, and just wanted to remind you of the blessings of putting your faith in Christ. If you’ve already put your faith in Christ, I hope you’ll be able to take time over the next few days, even right now if you want, to just thank Him for coming into our world and into our lives. If you’ve never really put your faith in Christ, I encourage you to do it today. Trust Him completely for everything in your life and let Him call the shots from now on. Take Him at His Word and follow Him with your whole heart. It will make all the difference in the world, both here on earth and in the life to come.

The Perfect Gift

As you get ready for Christmas, I thought you might like to listen to some original Christmas songs that I’ve just uploaded to “The Ranch” website. My friend Al Lowry and some of his friends from Saddleback Church in California recently recorded these songs and have graciously allowed us to stream them over the Internet to you.

If you only have time for one song, try out the title song from this CD, #15, called “The Perfect Gift” by Michael J. Pelzman. It’s only a minute and a half long, but will help get you into the spirit of Christmas! Or if you have time, enjoy listening to the whole CD. We’re streaming all the songs over the Internet FREE as a gift to you!

Click here to listen to “The Perfect Gift”

2004 Elder Family Pictures

And for those of you who might be interested in our family life, we’ve just posted some updated pictures from 2004 that you can see at 2004 Elder Family Pictures.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love,
Eric Elder

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.

Letters From Readers Of “This Day’s Thought”

Four hundred emails poured in from around the world in response to Kirk Albrecht’s death from those who never knew him, but who were, nonetheless, touched by his life through his technical support of the ministry “This Day’s Thought.” I’ve posted those letters here as a tribute to Kirk. (With the exception of Greg’s letter of introduction to Kirk’s wife, Kelly, I’ve replaced each writer’s name with only their initials and have removed other contact information from their notes.)

***

Kelly, this is Greg of This Day’s Thought. We are the Christian Internet ministry that Kirk had been helping for some time.

I am so sorry for your loss of Kirk.

I wanted to share what Kirk did for this ministry, and for so many…

About a year ago, when Eric’s servers were “acting up” Kirk quickly allowed us to use his server(s) and for us to piggy back onto the software he placed on one server so as to allow us to continue to function as a ministry. Over the last year or so, Kirk was always willing to help as needed as problems arose with our e-mailing of daily messages (Thought, Verse, Devotional, Prayer). And he did so not once asking for compensation, but allowing us to send a small amount of monthly money only as we were able.

Kelly, we send out @ 15,000 Christian messages a day to over 10,000 people. When Eric was being challenged back then, if Kirk had not come to our rescue, we probably would have not been able to continue helping so many people as we did. Kirk came to our aid in the most extraordinary way.

I wanted you to know how much of a blessing Kirk was to the ministry of This Day’s Thought, both with his technical help to Eric (which in turn helped us) and then most recently. Kirk allowed us to continue our ministry of encouragement and support to over 10,000 people on a daily basis. For that I am so very grateful.

There is so much that I don’t understand in this world which the Lord has blessed us with…I understand in some ways, and in other ways- I don’t)…I just wanted you to know how much of a blessing your husband was to so many…and certainly how much of a blessing he was to me.

If I may be of any help to you, I will be standing by.

Sincerely,
Greg for This Day’s Thought

***

Dear Kelly,
I am a recipient of “This Day’s Thought” and each day, I take a little spiritual break when it comes. I am so saddened today to hear of the loss of your husband, Kirk. As one of the many silent recipients of these daily messages, I would like to say thank you to you and your family. I appreciate the time and talents Kirk gave to provide us with daily inspirations. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
W.P.
*
Kelly,
My heart aches for you. My family and I will be praying for you and yours. May God grant you comfort and peace during this difficult time.
Sincerely,
K.S.
*
Kelly,
I’m so sorry for the death of Kirk, and no words can comfort you at this moment, but I do know if you stand firm and trust in the Lord, He will help you through this terrible storm.
G.L.
*
Kelly,
I wanted to let you know that you and your family will be in my prayers. I’m also 37 and have lost several people that are special to me, but always remember “Those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed” Isaiah 40:31a. Kirk has blessed my life so many times by being a part of this devotion that I receive daily and I thank God for the words of encouragement over the years that I have received due to help from your husband.
God bless and you are in my prayers
S.P. – Lexington, KY
*
To the family of Kirk,
My heart and my prayers go out to your family during this incredibly difficult time. I’m sure you are numb with grief, but please know that there are many that are lifting you all before the throne of Grace. May you feel His amazing presence during this time. One of my dearest friends died suddenly three weeks ago at the age of 43, leaving 5 children. I recently found this quote and passed it on to his wife. Perhaps it will encourage you as well… “Faith is….remembering in the midst of my heartache that nothing can change my greatest blessing, His presence with me.” May the Lord bless you and keep you and your family,
M.P.
*
Please let Kelly & family know that they are in my thoughts & prayers … I know it’s a difficult time they are facing! God is a merciful Savior & I pray they will feel His love during this awful time of tragedy!
In His Love – C.
*
Dear Kelly,
I extend heartfelt sympathy to you and your family during this time of bereavement. Although death is most definitely a part of life, we are never prepared when it comes, especially to someone as young as Kirk. Know that earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. Thank GOD that Kirk was in Christ and Christ was in him. He is in the Lord’s hands, now, the best place to be! Celebrate Kirk’s life!
D.M. – Washington, DC
*
Dear Kelly:
I so very much enjoy the “This days thoughts” and how I have learned from various messages. I am so sorry to learn of the death of your husband, Kirk. I pray for you comfort and understanding at this time in your life, for you and your children, friends and family. I will remember you in prayer. I would like to be more helpful than these few words of encouragement so if you ever need a friend to talk to, please do not hesitate to call me anytime………….I could be a good listener and pray with you and give you words of encouragement. So please call if you ever need to. I suffered with breast cancer, chemo, radiation, diagnosed in early 2000 and treatment for 3 years and sometimes I just needed someone to talk to, vent to or to pray with me and hear words of encouragement. Without the Lord, I would have not handled it as well. I live in Weeki Wachee, FL, 61 year old Christian lady who would be willing to talk and anytime day or night. God bless you and your family for comfort.
I.K. – Weeki Wachee, FL
*
This just broke my heart when I saw it. Through the ministry of “This Day’s Thought” I have been touched by the message of God when I needed to hear it most. It is with great sadness that I learn of the loss of one of the fine staff of “This Day’s Thought”. My heart and heartfelt prayers go out to Kirk’s family and friends.
D.
*
Dear Kelly,
Please know that Kirk had a significant life. What he did help unknown numbers of us make it through another day. God’s word is certain to speak to our heart if we will just read it. It does not matter much what medium of reading we use. Try to remember the good times with Kirk. May our Lord give you peace that is beyond our understanding and show you and yours His way for your days ahead.
In His Service,
B.G.
*
Kelly, et al.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May you find solace in memories of Kirk, which will last forever.
The work Kirk did for This Day’s Thought touched so many people all over the world. We have all been blessed by his work. Thank you for allowing him to share this type of service with us. You will never know just how many lives he changed.
Love and prayers,
L.M. – Woodstock, GA
*
Dear Kelly, my prayers are with you. I pray God’s comfort and peace over you and your family. Kirk was a part of such an awesome ministry!!! I understand he was a major part of keeping this ministry going. I look forward every day to the next “This Days Thought”, Verse, Devotional, Sermon, and Prayer. It just lifts me up everyday and reminds me just how AWESOME our Lord is. Kirk definitely has helped make this possible for a lot of people! He is in God’s arms now!!!! He will be greatly rewarded!! God bless you!!
Love In Christ,
F.G.
*
Kelly and family,
My deepest sympathies are with all of you at the moment.
May God be with you all.
Love always,
J.
*
We will keep Kelly and the family as well as all of Kirk’s friends in our prayers. This ministry has been a real blessing to me and to those family and friends that I have forwarded it too.
Some people make such an impact in a very short time. It seems as though he has done that.
We will continue to pray for God’s healing hand for all of you.
K.R.
*
I LOOK FORWARD, EACH MORNING, TO FIND MY INSPIRATION FOR THE DAY. YOU CAN EXPRESS OUR SINCERE REGRET TO KELLY ON THE LOSS OF HER YOUNG PARTNER. GOD WILL BLESS HER, SURELY.
*
You have my heartfelt sympathy, and prayers at this time. Heaven claimed him and God will take you through this build your intimate time with God and let him walk you every step of the way. God Bless and Keep you.
*
I KNOW YOUR FEELINGS TODAY WITH THE LOSS OF YOUR HUSBAND AND FATHER OF YOUR CHILDREN. I WENT THROUGH ALL THIS WITH 3 CHILDREN ONE A 9 MTH OLD BABY,YOU HAVE GOD TO DIRECT AND HELP YOU ALWAYS RELY AND DEPEND ON GOD HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU. I HAVE A DEATH MY DAUGHTER IN LAW DIED THE 13 FROM AML LEUKEMIA, WE ARE GOING TO HER WAKE NOW.I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU,GOD BE WITH YOU SHOWERING YOU WITH LOVE AND MERCY
Our God is the God of creative miracles! He does great and marvelous things for those who love and trust Him. The heavens cannot even contain the God we serve!
You may be struggling with an impossible situation today. But be encouraged! There is no limit to what God can do! Even the heavens cannot contain Him!
GOD’S BLESSINGS AND LOVE, S.
*
I just subscribed yesterday, but this note brought me to tears. I’m so so sorry for your loss.
*
Dear Kelly,
I was very moved by Greg’s tribute to your husband, Kirk. I didn’t know him and you don’t know me, but we are “sisters-in-loss”. I too lost my husband to a sudden and unexpected heart attack. There is nothing I can say to ease your pain at this very moment except that the Lord will hold you and your children close to Him during this difficult time.
Please be sure to SAVE THIS E-MAIL because there will come a time when you may want to chat on line and connect with someone who truly knows what you are experiencing.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Regards, G.T.
*
Kelly, Sorry to here about your lost, but it is God’s gain. Just keep in mind that Kirk is smiling down on you right now. No matter what happens just know that God is only a prayer/small talk away.
Prayer is the Key….Faith unlocks the Door
L.G.
*
Lifting prayer for Kirk’s family in Georgia!
May Kirk rest in peace and rise in Glory!
In Christ –
J.S.- St. James/Macon, GA
*
Kelly, you and your children are in my prayers. May God be with you and
your family.
*
Please pass along my sincere sympathies to Kelly. I can relate to her loss. My husband passed away due to a brain tumor in January of this year. He was 36 and we have two children 10 and 5. I would be happy to visit with her if she needs someone to talk to who understands what she may be feeling. A friend of mine at church told me the other day to think of it as a temporary separation and he is just living in a nicer house.
*
Dear Kelly,
As an expectant and eager reader of “This Days Thought” it is not often that the “Thought’s” human component manifests itself. Today, it has in a profound way. I feel confident that many thousands of readers join me in expressing their sadness at your great loss. Thank you for sharing your husband who was clearly a very special person from the “thought” below, with us.
We look forward to the day when the excruciating pain that comes our way in this life from time to time, turns into eternal, unbounded joy at being reunited in the magnificent presence of the Almighty Creator of the Universe and His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Blessing on you and your family,
Semper Fidelis,
R.P. Colonel, USMC (Ret)
*
It is always sad when someone passes away,it is even sadder when so young and special. I have benefitted from Kirk’s work,I appreciate it very much. He made a wonderful differeence in my life even though I have never met him. Convey to his loved ones my sincere deep sadness. May peace comes to all.
In deep sadness,
M.
*
May God be with you in your time of sorrow and grief.
*
Kelly & Children,
I am so sorry for your loss. I have asked that God help you manage in the next weeks. We know that God loves us but it is so hard to trust Him when we are feeling the loss of anyone close to us. He will be there for you when you go to him. I pray that He will provide for you and give you friends to help you along. I know you know that Kirk is with the Lord. Please don’t expect yourself to be a super person: You will have your own time to adjust and grieve in your own way. Just be yourself and know that you are loved. Hug your children. I will pray for you and for them.
D.R. – Juneau, Alaska
*
Kelly,
I just want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers. I pray for God to give you strength and comfort during this time. God did say he would never leave you nor forsake you. I believe that and I hope you do to. God rest the soul of Brother Kirk, and let us be mindful that we shall see him again in Glory. God bless you and your family.
*
I am so sorry to hear about Kirk. I know he rests in the arms of the Lord. There are so many of us who sit at our desks everyday and look forward to the message of the day. He has done a great deal of good.
Change is very difficult for us to accept and it is so much a part of our daily life, of our human existence. I pray for his family to accept God’s will.
Kirk is now their personal angel who has walked in human relationships and understands their needs.
God has already blessed us all with having known Kirk.
A.G.
*
My thoughts and prayers go out to Kelly and the family. It is a hard time but remember that FAITH…..FAMILY AND FRIENDS (in that order) will help you go on.
God bless
S.S. – Aurora Hills
*
I am so sorry for your loss and would like you to know that as soon as I read the message said a prayer asking the Lord to minister peace to you and your children. Being 34, myself that hits close to home and being the father to 11 children I can understand what a loss your children will feel as well as you his wife.
I pray that you will find the peace that will be more than enough to sustain you through this terrible time in your life. Never forget however, that God’s grace is more than enough to keep you.
*
Hi Kelly.
As a bit of a techie, I always appreciate the work the back room boys do. This Day’s Thought has been encouraging, though-provoking and often challenging. Without Kirk’s contribution this would not have been possible.
I pray God will comfort and strengthen you and your family.
S.T. – Harlow, UK
*
Dear Kelly:
My wife of 34 years was widowed at 24 years old and left with two small children. So, I know something of what you’re experiencing right now. As I read the information about your husband’s death I stopped to pray for you and your children. I promise to do that several more times of the next few days.
May you know God’s grace and peace during these days.
J.S.
*
My heart goes out to Kirk’s wife and children. Please extend my sympathies. We never know about tomorrow, only God knows. May He wrap his loving arms around Kelly and the children and comfort them.
Thank you for all you do in “This Days Thought”. I enjoy it.
*
Dearest Kelly: I don’t know you, but I was so saddened to hear the news of the loss of your husband yesterday. I cannot begin to imagine the sadness and grief you feel right now. I will pray that the Lord will hold you close, comforting you, blessing you and reassuring you. He promises to be the husband to the widow, and I know He will provide for you and your children! May you feel His loving presence during this very difficult time.
Blessings — J.B.
*
We can’t even begin to understand why something like this would happen, but He knows. Very very sad for Kelly and the family but, for Kirk, he is safe in the arms of Jesus.
*
Kelly,
I’m very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Receiving these messages has truly changed my life for the better, as I did not have a good spiritual foundation growing up, and it encouraged me to learn and grow in the Lord. I thank you, and Jesus for Kirk’s part in this. May God be with you and your family and bless you always!
With Deepest Sympathy,
L.L.
*
God is our Sustainer, The Holy Spirit our Comforter, & Jesus our all in all. I met a young woman who shared that her father died about 3 weeks before & what helped her most was reading the Psalms. She cried many tears & the hurt always eased as God ministered to her. God be with you all. G.
*
Dear Kelly,
I thank you for your husband who has allowed me to continue to get the Days Thought messages. This Days Thought Messages continue to touch so many, many Christians lives each and everyday. It has brought deliverance to many. Souls were saved just by reading one days message. This was made possible because of Kirk. God chooses whom he wants to do his will and isn’t it an honor to be one of his chosen ones. I can only believe that by Kirk being a Godly man you are certainly a Godly women by his side. May God Bless you and your Family and I will continue to keep you in my prayers during this time.
P.S. I’m sure Kirk is in heaven now smiling with God and God saying to him “Job well done my son”
L.S. – Upper Marlboro, MD
*
Hi Kelly
There is very little one can say to comfort you and your family in this tragedy of life. Just know that someone from far away New Zealand cares for you as well, of course, as our God.
Blessings
D.T. – New Zealand
*
We r very thank ful for all the efforts that kirk has put in & i do pray for his soul. I still remember the time when this days thought was off air .Forwarding these messages was my first work at my office everyday ,those days wen these mails were removed i used to feel that a most essential part of my job was missing,thanx to Kirk the issue was solved…..
May god bless his family …….
M.U. – India
*
To Kelly and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Knowing that Kirk was someone hugely responsible for the daily uplifting message – and hearing also of his passing – compels me to hold you all in my prayers every day.
Draw your strength from God and allow Him to use others for you to lean upon in the days and weeks ahead.
God bless you all.
P.L.
*
I am so sorry to hear about your husbands sudden passing. You are in my prayers Kelly and your family. So sad he was so young…my heart aches for you. May the good Lord protect and comfort you as you carry this very heavy cross.God Be with You.
M.S. – Massachusetts
*
Dear Kelly and family,
You will stay in our prayers. I’m so very sorry for your loss. This ministry has blessed me and so many others for quite a while. I know that Kirk’s love will live on through you and your family.
With deepest sympathy,
S.B. – Nashville, TN
*
Kelly and Children,
I am saddened to hear of your loss. I pray that God will give you strength and surround you with His Love and Peace as you go thru the days ahead.
Sincerely,
L.F.
*
I read the thought everyday and help with my everyday problem…I didn’t know your husband but in the spirit world are related……You and family will be in my prays..May God be with you in time of grief….Be strong and contiune to pray…..I Love as sister in christ.
*
Kelly, I am greatly saddened by your loss. So young… gone so suddenly. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Only in Eternity will Kirk’s service, sacrifice and devotion to the Lord Jesus be shown for huge impact it had — the many people reached and encouraged, lifted, and even saved.
I know that our Lord Jesus will comfort you and give you the peace that endures and provide ALL your needs.
God bless you and your family and all who loved Kirk.
He helped to deliver encouragement to my life, and I thank God for that and for him.
D.D.
*
Dear Kelly and Family
Please accept my sincere condolences over your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and sadness you must be going through right now. I only recently started receiving “This Days Daily Thought but it has been a real blessing. Thanks for sharing your husband with the rest of us in this very real way. Please accept my continued prayers for you and your family.
B.
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Kelly,
I am sooo deeply saddened at hearing of the loss of Kirk. What a wonderful man and ministry he had for so many of us! I want you to know that I am praying for you and your family during this time.
Sincerely,
N.B.
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My prayers are with this family! Each week I place a thought from these emails in our churches bulletin. These thoughts have blessed many, including myself. I am grateful for all the work that goes into this ministry! I have 2 children ages 3 and 10 months, and I know how hard being a parent can be! You have my deepest sympathy in the lose of your husband. Just always remember to trust in the Lord – he will be your strength! God bless you and your family!
N.W. – Spring Creek
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So very sorry to hear of the loss of Kirk. Loss shouldn’t actually be the word to use because he really is not lost, we know where he is, it’s just that he is not here in the way that he was before. Praying for the Lord to strengthen all of you, until you meet again
P.C. – Indianapolis, IN
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Dear Kelly,
I don’t know you nor did I know your husband but I wanted to write to you anyhow!
Every day I am blessed receiving my “This Day’s Verse” and so I am so thankful that God placed Kirk here on earth and in such prominent place of work. It is a comfort to know that Kirk is with the Lord in his AWESOME LOVING PRESENCE!!! I know it is probably hard but take peace in that and hide in God’s love and peace at this time. My prayers are with you and your family!
God bless you abundantly!
H.M.
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Please tell Kelly I will remember her and her family in prayer. Only Heaven will tell us why God allows these things. But we can pray that as Kirk’s life was not lived in vain, but in service to the Lord, his death will not be in vain and pray that for the many many who receive your daily reminder’s of God’s Word, that we may all take to heart, “We have only one life, it will soon be passed, and only what’s done for Christ will last.” In Christian Love, D.G.
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Dear Kelly,
There is no way to put into words the feelings we have at receiving the message from This Day’s Thought concerning your husband’s recent death. Your grief must seem unbearable. The gift of technical assistance that Kirk gave in the ministry has enabled ‘This Day’s Thought’ to be a daily encouragement and inspiration to me and to many others. My prayer is that the Lord will give you the strength you need to endure the sorrow and to take one moment at a time. May Kirk’s contribution be multiplied in others through the inspiration he has been. And may the Comforter enfold you and yours in His arms in a special way during this time.
In Christian Love,
L.O., pastor’s wife
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Dear Kelly,
May God’s loving hand be with you now in this your time of sorrow. Thank God for the beauty that he gave us in Kirk.
F.M.
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My name is L.A. my father also past way due to a hart attack. Sometime it is hard to understand what the Lord has for us. But in the darkest time just remember he has a plan. I pray that the Lord prepares you for this episode in your life. I know that you will find comfort you and your children will find comfort in the Lord. My deepest condolences. God bless you and your family.
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Dear Kelly,
I was very sad to hear about Kirk, especially because of his age, and the loss for you and your children. I could only think of the words, that “the Lord never makes an error” and it was His decision to permit your husband to be taken into eternity. Based on what Greg said in his E-mail about Kirk being a fine Christian person for whom you all can give thanks, I’m sure he will be in a wonderful place where he will even see and be together with other loved ones who have preceded him into the beyond. May I add my sincerest condolences to the many you will receive from your family and friends. Be assured of our prayers at this difficult time for you and your children, that you can remain strong and that the Lord will send the Holy Spirit as the Comforter to you.
With love and compassion in Christ,
C.G. – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Hi I am writing from Gold Coast Australia to express my great appreciation for the encouragement that your ministry is to me and friends within my Church.
I thank you all for your faithfulness and particularly at this time for Kirk and what the Lord has used him to do through you.
Please pass on my appreciation to Kelly and assurance of my prayers to the family for a job “Well Done”. We never know the Lord’s time for us but He calls us only to be faithful. Kirk was such a one and we are thankful for the impact of his life upon so many.
Blessings,
N.G. – Gold Coast Australia
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To Kelly,
I pray that you are blessed with many happy memories of a lovely, giving man and husband. I pray that those memories will give you the strength that you need for yourself as well as your young children.
Much love and warmth,
B.
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Kelly and family,
Just wanted to let you know, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Love in Him,
K.M.
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Hello Kelly,
My heart goes out to you at this hard, hard time. Please know that God continues to be in control and He loves you and your family. How marvelous that you had a shared life with such a talented wonderful man. Kirk will continue to be with you in your heart as you celebrate his life.
God bless you and keep you.
C.
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MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU WITH YOUR LOSS. MAY GOD GRANT YOU KELLY, AND YOUR CHILDREN STRENGTH AND COURAGE IN THIS TERRIBLE SHOCK AND GRIEF. I HAVE A SON WHO IS 38 WITH YOUNG FAMILY AND HE JUST STARTED PREACHING THE GOSPEL FULL TIME LAST YEAR AND IT MUST BE BEYOND UNDERSTANDING WHY ONE WOULD BE TAKEN SO YOUNG BUT GOD KNOWS MORE THAN WE DO AND I DAILY HAVE TO PUT MY TRUST IN HIM TO TAKE CARE OF THINGS OVER WHICH I HAVE NO CONTROL. YOU WILL BE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. GOD BLESS.
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Hi Kelly,
My name is T. I’m very sorry to hear of Kirk home going. I know you will miss him, but God loved him more. I pray God continue to strengthen you and your family. I thank God that Kirk came into this ministry when he did. I myself was going through a terrible time and I truly needed to hear a word from God. That is when I learned of this ministry and a few days later is when the ministry went off the net. I thank God for Kirk’s help. Know this, with all the prayers coming from us to God for you, God will send his angels to comfort you and your family.
God loves you and so do I. I will keep you in my prayers.
Love you
T.
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Psalm 91 (NIV)
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [1]
2 I will say [2] of the LORD , “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Father, we ask today for your wing, the shadow of your spirit, your presence with Kelly and the children this day. We pray that you would hear their cries, receive their grief and loneliness, answer their prayers and comfort them today and always. Be with them Father at this time and in their place and need right now.
In Jesus’ Name
amen
T.C.
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Our prayers go out the Kirk and his family. Please pass on that we will be praying for God’s comfort in this time of insurmountable grief. I have been blessed by your ministry…thank you and may our great God give you peace and comfort in this difficult time.
In Christ Always!
D.V.
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My deepest sympathies go out to Kelly and her family. It is always hard to deal with a loss such as this. Thankfully he has left behind a legacy of spreading the word and Christian love. Thank you for allowing him to assist with this program and for all he did. This truly makes my day so many times.
Sincerely:
K.&D.W.
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear of this news. Through God’s provision, everything will work out. Keep your eyes on Him.
Kirk is with Jesus now, the best place to be…and a place I look forward to go to when my time here is over.
Have faith, Sweet Sister….Take care…
In Christ’s Tender Care,
K.
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My deepest sympathies.
You can rest assured that you and the entire family, together with Kirk will be in my prayers.
M.R.
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Kelly,
I am very sad for the loss of your husband, Kirk.
Although we can question why at such a young age, we can rest assured that he is in the hands of Our Heavenly Father.
I said a prayer for you and your children, and pray GOD`s peace will be with you and your family.
Here is a favorite passage of scripture of mine that I hope you`ll like:
Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
May GOD indeed bless you and your family.
R.M. – Oil City, Pennsylvania
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Dear Kelly,
My name is E. and I knew of your husband Kirk only through This Day’s Thought. However, I would like to tell you that I give you my deepest sympathies and prayers. I once heard that only very special people are brought home early in their life by God because of a heart attack. Most people take 80-some years to give away all of the love in their hearts that He gives us. Kirk must have loved completely selflessly, purely, and wonderfully to have done so in 37 years.
With you in my prayers and thoughts,
E.
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Kelly, my sypathies are with you and your children because of your loss. I know you must feel really sad at this time. Also there is so much to rearrange in your lives now. God will see you through these things and ease your way. Trust in him. In Ecclesastes 12: verse 6-7 you can be assured that your loved one is with God now. God knows all the reasons, in time, perhaps we shall learn those reasons. Keep in the faith !
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Dear Kelly and family,
I’m so sorry to hear of your unexpected loss! May God’s presence bless you and guide you and meet every need.of your family!
Sincerely, G.O.
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Kelly,
I’ve been getting This Day’s Thought and This Day’s Verse for a while now and there have been so many times it blessed me or helped me with a lesson for youth group. I’m sure it’s been the same with MANY other people as well. I am so sorry about your loss. Your husband, by being involved in This Day’s Thought has touched many lives and will be rewarded for all his hard work for Jesus. Jesus is with you now.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
A.B.
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To the family of Kirk,
My sincere condolences to Kirk’s family.
I am praying for your whole family, that the Great Comforter may greatly help you in these saddest moments.
These prayers for you and much more I will pray to the Creator who takes care of everything.
God bless you.
R.
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband, Kirk. I have not lost my husband, but this past October I lost my 19-yr-old son in an accident, so perhaps I have a glimpse of what your loss is like. I am praying for you.
L.
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Kelly,
You are in our prayers and thoughts at this difficult time. The This Day’s Thought ministry has been a blessing in my life and my husband’s. We look forward to it each day. We are so thankful that Kirk had an important part in this ministry.
The Lord keep you and bless you. The Lord make His eyes to shine upon you. May He comfort your and keep you in His hand. You are loved by Him and by those of us who share this loss with you.
In Christ,
L.R. & D.R. – Howe, Texas
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Kelly,
My prayers are with you and your family. I know it has to be hard so I will not say that it isn’t. But as you are going through just know that the Lord has you in the palm of his hand.
I felt lead to respond to this email because there has been so many days that this site has help me out. You know we do not have to know each other but to know that we are all living for the Master is enough. Take care and again my deepest sympathy.
Sincerely your sister in Christ.
B.
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Dear Kelly,
Our hearts and prayers go out to you and to your family as you seek God’s mercy and comfort during this great loss. We give thanks for Kirk’s life and the way God used his gifts and talents to touch so many that he never met. Thank you for sharing him with this wonderful ministry and know that his efforts will have eternal ramifications and may God’s peace be your portion today and always.
God’s grace to you and your family,
Rev. J.B. – Tempe, Arizona
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Dear Kelly,
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. This Day’s Thought, which I know Kirk was instrumental with, has certainly made a difference in my life. God bless you and your family.
J. – Waynesville, North Carolina
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Dear Kelly and family,
I am sorry to hear of Kirk’s sudden passing. His work made a difference to me as this day’s thought/verse have become an important part of my work day. Thank you for the things you have done, and sacrifices you made to support him in his work with this ministry.
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I got chills all over my body when I read this. My deepest sympathy to you Kelly. May God comfort you and may he reveal his ultimate plan for you and yours so you can have the peace that passes all of our understanding. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you today.
M.
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Kelly, my name is B. I’m fixing to be a college student at Texas Tech in Lubbock, TX. i want to thank you for sharing your husband with this ministry. i know this ministry has continually given me a smile on my face at the beginning of each day when i check my email. it has had an impact on me and the people around me. it’s amazing how huge God’s picture is. the ripple-effect of his plan is amazing. my prayers are with you and your family. i’m thankful for the man i never knew. God bless
B.M.
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May the Lord be always with you and your family Kelly. I know these words will seem insignificant but they are sent with feeling and I will hold you in my prayers.
J. – Middlesbrough
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Dear Family,
I would like to offer my deepest sympathy. I do not know you or your family, but you are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray that you will find peace, comfort, and above love in the arms of your Loving Savior. He will guide you throught this time and my prayer is that you will rely on Him as well as those around you. I want to thank you and your family for sharing the husband and father of your family, Kirk, with those around him. I have only been receiving “This Day’s”… for two weeks now and I just signed my husband up with them as well. This ministry has been an amazing blessing to my family and I want to thank you for Kirk’s sharing in this wonderful ministry. May God bless you and be with you now in your time of need.
In Christ’s Love,
B.&N.G – Atlanta, GA
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Kelly,
I cease the moment to express my deepest sentiments on this sad and trying event. I am 40 year old and I feel this death very close…not enough as you and the children would! There is this one thing we know for sure: Jesus has him with Him now, and He is with you as He always has. Take heart and good courage.
Sincerely,
J.A. – Togo YFC
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Dear Kelly,
My condolences to you and your family on losing your husband and father of your children. I have a son who is 37 with young children and I pray they never go through the anguish you must be feeling to lose such a young partner. My heart goes out to you and I will pray for you and your children and your families on both sides. God bless you.
Sincerely,
J.M.
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Kelly Bless you in this time of your loss. This web site has been of great value to the Body of Christ. I read it every day and send it to friends on my list of about 30. We will be praying for you during this time. I have a son who just turned 40 and I don’t know what I would do if this happened to him. Like you I would surely turn my face to the Lord and ask for His help and grace during this time. Bless you S.
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Hi, Dear Kelly
Thank you for letting Kirk be part of our daily life through this day’s thought. We don’t know what to say and how to say it but be sure you and your family will be on our prayers. blessings and peace
love
E.&W. – Toronto, Canada
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Dear Family of Kirk,
I have only been a recipient of this letter for a few months but it has blessed me, my friends and loved ones over and over. Like the penny doubled everyday (it becomes over 5 million dollars in a month!) the encouragement and inspiration from this venture Kirk was involved in has changed the attitude of a day, lifted up sad friends, convicted in just the right places and in just the right ways (causing God pleasing changes) and was spread to many others that are not even known to those who assemble the address book it’s sent to. I pray you are comforted and encouraged to an equal degree that Kirk’s efforts were to hundred’s of others in need. I assure you, God knows what He’s doing even though it sure might not seem sensible to you at this time.
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Kelly,
Although this may be the darkest hour of your life, losing your husband and the father of your children. You will ask God over and over – Why? I can tell you that there is only one way to get through your loss, pray to the Lord each and every day. Cast the tremendous burdon on His shoulders. “Footsteps” is true. He will carry you and your family through no matter how hard it is for you.
How do I know? My son, D., was 16 when he died in a tragic car wreck, on April 15, 2003. He was a passenger in a car with 3 other boys. The four were heading to the golf course to play in a school match. My wife, A., and my two other boys, C. (15) and N. (10), get through each day through the power of answered prayer. It’s been 15 months today, and only through God’s Grace and Mercy, is the pain a bit easier to bear. But, I guarantee you, you can do it if you believe in answered prayer. God will respond. You will feel the uplift. Things will happen and you will know He helped you through the hour, or the day. Things will happen which cannot be explained in any other way except as a miracle from God.
Isaiah 57: 1-3 may help you. It helped me. Sometimes God chooses the brightest and the best for his work in heaven. He has a plan for them greater than we can see and understand. He spares them from all evil and suffering in the earthly life and welcomes them to paradise as his special ones. They are ready and only God knows this. I know my son fits this plan. We know we will join them again one day.
I hope you get some comfort from this. I have.
Reply if you wish and I will respond again.
God Bless you and your family. I will pray for you.
Thanks,
D.H.
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Dear Friends In Christ:
It is with much saddness that we have learned of the sudden passing of Kirk, a brother we never had the chance to meet, yet feel connected, due to his servant heart thru this ministry. I pray that you may be able to let God carry you through this time and into the future, in praise and thanks giving, knowing that your husband, father, son and brother is with his Lord.
I buried my mother this past February, after a short but quickly dibilitating onset with ALS and lung disease. The comfort we felt then, and still do today is that we know that she is with her Lord and Saviour. We miss her, and at the same time look forward to seeing her again, when we get to join her.
Comfort to all of You.
D.
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I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Kelly and family in the lose of her beloved husband, Kirk. He is with the Angels and our Awesome and Wonderful Lord and Savior. We are striving to get there too. We lost our only Son, D., two years ago, but we know where he is – in Paradise. In Christ we pray for you, B. P.S.Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy This day’s thought. I share a lot with my church.
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I am so sorry. My name is A. (A’ie. to my friends) and by providence, I happened to get this site. It has been a tremendous blessing! I had a couple of quirky problems after being attacked by a virus and worm. I let you guys know, and next thing, POOF, no more problems. It had to be your husband.
If you need someone to talk to, need extra prayers, etc., here’s my e-dress. — You may feel alone, but I promise you, you are not.
A lot of love and prayers,
= ) A’ie
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We are truly sorry for your loss, please accept our best wishes.
B.&J.H. – Lakewood Colorado
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Kirk. While we know he has gone on to be with Christ our Lord and will finally be able to look into His awesome eyes, the loss you feel here on earth will still be tremendous and heartbreaking. I pray that you and your family will find peace in the knowledge that you will see him again some day and that he and our Lord are strong in your hearts and by your sides.
R.M.
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Our thoughts are with you Kelly and your family at this sad moment. May the strength of the Lord be with you all.
Kind regards,
R.T. – Townsville Queensland Australia
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To Kelly,
Your husband, Kirk allowed God to use his gifts and talents to be a real blessing to many, many people all over the world. You should know that God has promised a resting to all of His saints. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Kirk, I do believe that he has received the promise of God and is at complete peace and rest. My prayer for you is that you will be comforted by the presence of God and that you too will be at peace knowing that your husband has found a resting place with God the Father. May our God forever bless and keep you and your family in His Care, You should Thank God for allowing you to share in the life of one of His angels!
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Dear Kelly,
So sorry. Trust the Lord will bless you beyond measure … in this time of “beyond sorrow.”
Suffering comes in many forms … sometimes the deepest is the lonely ache of sadness. However, God is in it all … and …
Suffering is not wasted
by God;
When pain’s depths are tasted
by man.
Discipline does not come
from God;
Out of caprice, or glum
for man.
If the Lord takes the plough
to man;
A crop is purposed, now,
for God.
R.D., July 5, 2004
May the Lord comfort and sustain,
R.
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Hi Kelly
It definately came as a shock to me, but when i heard i felt like it was someone so close to me and only didn’t shed a tear because i fought it. This tells me how important it was to me to have his ministry work in my like and how much it affected me.
I just want to remind you our earthly status if feable but God has a plan for each of us beond this world. May the good Lord bless you with His Comfort and rememember he is always by your side.
I’ll definatly miss him, and i will be praying for you and your family every time i do.
” Joh 16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. ”
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Dear Kelly, Kirk’s death is a beginning for him, but is a heartbreaker for all who have benefited from his work at This Day’s Thought. The number of times I have forwarded the messages to my Sunday School class and other friends are uncountable. May the Holy Spirit lift up you and your children and help you find peace. J.S. and New Beginnings SS Class
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Kelly & her family are in my prays.
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Kelly-
I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your husband. Although I didn’t know him from what I gather he was a generous man. Dedicated to the cause of Christ. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I do know that God is faithful. He has not forgotten you. He is the God of ALL grace…he will himself strengthen and protect you…
1 Peter 5:10…. Remember “don’t doubt in the darkness what you knew in the light”…God is on your side. So are so many others. Your husband has ministered to me through this ministry,… thanks for doing your part as well.
In my prayers,
B.M. – Cedar Lake, Indiana
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Ms. Kelly and children:
I am so very sorry you have lost your dear husband and daddy – I will keep y’all in my prayers – May God’s peace surround and comfort you as we know only His peace can.
Love, a devoted reader of This Days Thought
N.
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To Kelley and family-
We are so sorry for your loss-We wil have you in our prayers- We miss the ones the Lord calls home, but one day soon, we too will be in His presents–and also get to see our loved again-
Lord’s Blessings for you-
D.K.
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Kelly,
Although I do not know you, I do extend condolences to you and your family. I love to start my day off with message@thisdaysthought.org.
It sounds like Kirk was a wonderful man. I will pray for God to give you His Peace and comfort to you and your family during this very difficult time.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that God loves us so much that he sent his only begotten Son to die for us and our sins? One day we will be reunited with our loved ones in heaven! I can’t wait to be held in the arms of Jesus. Your husband already has. Heaven is real.
God loves you and so do I.
D.
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Kelly and family,
So sorry to hear of your husbands passing. I will put you on my prayer list. I am a widow of 4 _ yrs, so I feel your pain, ……
God Bless you all,
G.K.
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Kelly, I didn’t know your husband nor do I know you or your children but God knows you and will continue to supply you with strength, love, guidance, a big shoulder to shed many tears. Everyday I look forward to these messages to make my day brighter, to make me think more, a nice hello from God through many voices. He was a true missionary for God and now he rests in the hands of God. May His Spirit give you comfort at night, love for your children. What a reunion it will be in Heaven when all the saints come marching home.
C.B. – Bonfield, Illinois
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Kelly,
May God bless you with abundant grace as you face the days ahead. I am so sorry for your loss.
In Christ’s Love,
S.S.
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Kelly,
I’m so sorry about your loss. The work your husband did has really blessed me and many others, I am sure. You and your family are in my prayers.
My deepest sympathies,
K.
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Please accept my condolences for your loss of Kirk. I know that he is in a better place and please know that the 37 years he gave were more than some others 50-100 years. He will truly be missed and will be the number one angel that gives out true devotion. J.
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. Greg said he was such a vital part of this ministry and I have got to tell you how wonderful this ministry has been to me in particular. I am mostly secluded taking care of my own family and now my grandbabies so my daughter can finish her teaching degree. So that doesn’t leave me alot of interaction with the outside world. With my brothers and sisters in Christ. And there are times I am in desperate need of some fellowship between Lord’s Day and small group. And then God directed my to this site.
Kelly, I was going through “issues” and I am not kidding, God used all of these ministries:This Days Thought, Verse, Devotional…and He spoke to me on exactly what I needed to hear at the time. And he still does! These are all God’s messages to me! Or sometimes they are for me to encourage someone else with and I pass them on.
What I am saying is that because your husband was a big part of this, he has blessed my life and I just wanted you to know that. God worked through him to help me. And I appreciate it so much!! I know that our God will be close by you and will be your comforter. I pray peace for you and your children and just to see God working in your lives to confirm His love for you all.
God bless you richly,
V.S.
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What a shame. His work has been a blessing to me for several weeks now. As a dabbler in computers, I know what skill it takes to keep a network going. And as a physician I’ve run into the shock and heartache of losing loved ones at such an early age. Of course your family is in my prayers.
J.S.PhD. – Denver
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Dear Greg,
Good morning from Yunnan, China Our prayers are with Kelly and family. Don’t know what to say but will pray that God will send angels and servants to stand with them
L.Y. – Yunnan, China
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You are on my heart and in my prayers during this difficult time in your life. Just KNOW that no matter what comes your way, God’s gotcha and will never let you go–He promised!
In His Grip,
L.N.
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Kelly:
God is now using Kirk to help Him as Kirk has fulfilled his earthly duties for the Lord. Please know you are being lifted up in prayer and that God is good…all the time. Thank Him and praise Him for Kirk being a christian, for now you and your loved ones will once again see Kirk in God’s time. I know he is saving his family a place in heaven. God bless you during this trial and please accept my deepest sympathy.
S.
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May God be with you and your family every step of the way. Many prayers go up for you from the B. family.
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Kelly~ Please know that you are a child of GOd and he will comfort you in these days ahead. I will be praying for you and your loss, and also for peace in your soul, and the knowing that you two will be together again someday. May the Lord bless you and comfort you. I thank you for sharing your husband with us, and allowing him to bless our lives. We love you!!
In Him~
L.R.
When someone you loves becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure!! My soul cries out for you!!
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Dear Kelly
My love and prayers are with you. The ministry your husband enabled has
touched me greatly over this last year. Thank God for him. We will meet in
glory.
With love in Christ
J.
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My thoughts and prayers will be with Kelly and her family in this difficult time. I know that This Day’s Thought has helped me through some very difficult times the past year and I appreciate everyone’s efforts that get it out to us. what a tragedy and what an important time to trust in God’s will.
God Bless
E.
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Kelly,
I will pray for you and your family. B.B.
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Kelly…
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
<>><
L.
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Dear Kelly,
What a shock. I have enjoyed the Daily Thought feature so much, and never thought before about who put it together. Now he is gone. No words are possible except for a prayer that you and your family will find the strength to walk with God through this awful time. L.G.
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My earnest, heartfelt prayers goes out to you and your family Kelly. During my time of tribulation, I looked forward to and still look forward to reading The Day’s Thought. The ministry that your husband was a part of enabled me to stay in the race. They were always on time! Just when thought I could go no further, This Day’s Thought would encourage me. Let me encourage you by say: You can make it, you can make it. These trials you’re going through, God’s gonna show you just what to do. You can make it! You can make it. I don’t know all that’s going on, but God won’t let it last too long; you’re not in this thing alone, you can make it! Father God in the precious name of your Son Jesus. I am asking that you comfort this family during their time of bereavement. Let them know that you are there; send them strength Lord and supply their need according to your riches in glory. Fill the empty void they may fill with your presence. Don’t let their hearts be troubled Lord, but give them peace in the midst of this time. Let your Spirit rest, rule and abide with each one of them. In Jesus’ name I pray … Amen!!!
K.W.
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Dear Kelly,
I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am to hear about your precious Kirk. I am a sucriber of This Day’s Thought. I know my life has been blessed and changed by his wonderful gift and ministry.
I pray that the Lord of all comfort, the great High Priest who has felt every hurt and every pain we have ever had comfort you in your days, months and years ahead. I pray you will find the grace to tap into the peace that passes all understanding, and come to walk in a supernatural strength Jesus has to give to you.
If there is something I can do in anyway please don’t hesitate to click on reply. We are all part of the body of Christ, we are family. Again I send my deepest regrets to you Kelly and your entire family.
S.A.
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Dear Kelly,
I am certainly praying with you regarding your and this world’s loss. I am a new subscriber to these devotions and definitely appreciate the enhancement to our walk with God.
You and your family have my deepest sympathy and my fervent prayer.
God Bless you in your time of need.
Sincerely,
D.
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My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family in this difficult time!
Sincerely,
B.E. – Charlotte, NC
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear about Kirk. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family always. I will pray that you feel God’s presence and His loving arms around you for strenth and courage to get you through Kirk’s loss. I will put you and your family on our prayer list. May God bless you and keep you. P.G.
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Dear Kelly and family,
I am deeply sorrowful for your loss but I am happy for his gain. I know that your family has experienced a great tragedy but my prayer is that the purpose for this happening will be revealed and that you all will receive some answers to the questions that are sure to be going through all of your minds. I thank God for the ministry that was placed in your husband’s heart and I am extremely grateful for this days thought that is sent through e-mail. I have been blessed through each and every one. May God continue to keep your family and I will keep you all in my prayers.
God Bless You All
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Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this much difficult time. Please remember that God is with you and will never leave you. It is important to remember also that the memories of your loved one will be with you in your heart forever. Peace be with you and your family. Sincerely,
T.B.
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Dear Kelly and family
Our hearts go out to you in your grief. Kirk was much too young to leave all of you…and us! I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed his messages for the past year. It is simply wonderful to begin my day with thoughts that lead my heart to God ….and for the rest of the day! May our loving Lord wrap His arms of comfort and peace around you and your family. My prayers are with you.
G.T. – Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
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May God in His Grace give you the strength to know that your husband is Home with the Lord. This ministry is a fundamental part of my day. it’s like breakfast for the soul. May God bless you, Kelly, and know that God takes the best ones first! Kirk must have been a best one!
Thanks,
B.R.
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Kelly,
Words cannot describe how your husband, Kirk, has touched so many lives with his computer knowledge, expertise and personal equipment. The thoughts, verses, and devotionals from Bonnie and whom ever else involved, are more than blessings to me and my families and friends. They have been “life-changing”, “eye-opening”, “heart-transformation” words from the Lord at just the right time. They have never failed! Just like our precious Lord Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
May “He grant you out of the rich treasure of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit, Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality. And God’s peace shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 3:16: Philippians 4:7 AMP)
One step ahead is all I now can see, But He who notes the sparrow’s fall, He leadeth me. Not only by the waters still my feet may tread, but with my hand in His, I know that I am led.
E.D.
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Prayers are with you,
M.C. – Texas
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Greg- please let Kelly know how much Kirk’s contribution has meant to me personally. I look forward to the inspirational email I receive, and have forwarded it to many of my family and friends. My only theory must be that someone like Kirk is with God, who probably needed him back, since he was only on loan here anyway. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, her children, and your staff.
L.G.
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Dear Kelly:
I am truly saddened by the news of Kirk’s death. I am relatively new to This Days Thought – have just been receiving the message for about a month now – but I want you to know what a positive difference it has made to my life. I read it every morning before I do anything else – it is like putting on my armour for the day – Thanks to you and Kirk for making this all possible. My God be with you in this most difficult time – I am praying for you and your young family.
D.W.
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Kelly, I’m so sorry to hear you lost your husband so suddenly and so young! These next few months might be very difficult for you, I know it was a long time after my husband died that I felt able to move on. You are in my heart and in my prayers, and your children, I wish you all God’s blessings and His peace. J.
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Kelly,
I just want to thank and praise the LORD for Kirk and for the work he has done.
It would be impossible now to measure the value of his short life but I can tell you that God has been glorified. We commit you and your family into the Master’s hands. He will carry you the rest of the way.
Sincerely,
C.R.
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Dear Family in Christ Jesus,Heaven has gained a saint. My love and prayers are with you. One day soon I will get to shake his hand and thank him for all the wonderful inspiration he shared about our Father and His SON Jesus. What ahome come for us all. Agape love, V.P.
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Dear Kelly,
Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers- Although we don’t know you personally, as our sister in Christ we do care about you and your dear family. We have been subscribers to “This Day’s Thought” for some time, and our Ministry has truly been blessed through this. May God Bless you and yours, comfort and support you at this time.
E.G. – Tasmania, Australia
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I SEND MY SINCERE CONCOLENCES TO KELLY AND HER FAMILY.I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE LOSS. I LIFT THE ENTIRE FAMILY UP IN PRAYER. WHAT CAN ONE SAY TO SOMEONE WHO HAS SUCH A LOSS? MAY THE LORD SUSTAIN…………………
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Dear Kelly,
You don’t know me, as is true with many subscribers to This Day’s Thought I’m sure, but I want you to know that I prayed today for you and your children in the loss of your husband. That must be incredibly hard.
I hope this is encouraging, at least one day when you can process it: I met the editor of This Day’s Thought a few years ago at an online evangelism conference and got subscribed.
I can’t read these snippets and quotes every day since I’m so busy doing online ministry myself (plus I have 8-year-old triplets, which is one reason my heart goes out to you so much), but they have been a vital blessing at key times in my life. I also forward them at times to minister to friends, disciples, my wife and others.
Knowing what I do about Web ministry and what it takes to make it happen, I would like to say how much I appreciate your husband’s part in making this inspirational ministry a success. It takes sacrifice, which it sounds like Kirk made gladly. I know that represents sacrifice on your part, as well. And I trust that you enhanced your husband’s ministry and work in many ways.
The role of encouraging and inspiring me as I help reach skeptics and equip believers the world over in my own ministry is only a small portion of the fruit borne by your late husband, and by extension, by you. May eternity show great glory going to Jesus Christ because of it. And may Christ hold you up and show you His husbandly love beyond measure from now on.
Yours in Christ’s matchless Name,
B.B. – Addison, Texas
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Dear Kelly
I know there is not much I can say to help u at this time as I am sure it has all been said.. but just wanted you to know I am praying for you and the children.. I lost my husband 9 years ago this summer and know the sorrow..Your husband was young but God has plans for him I am sure.. You be strong hon and God will help u thru this.. If you ever need to talk I am here for you ..
J.
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Kelly and Family…
Our prayers go out to you and your family at this most difficult time for your family. It’s another time we all want to ask of God “Why?” Yet this is a question we cannot get an answer to. As one of my former ministers often would say, “Man cannot put a question mark to something God has put a period to.” Please know that God’s love for your husband and daddy is go great…just as His love is for you and your family. May you find strength today, tomorrow, and in the weeks, months and years ahead knowing that God loves you more than words can describe. In this time of family mourning…may you feel God’s love.
D.A. and family – Yakima, Washington
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Greetings Kelly,
I just want you to know, how much your husband did by sending those daily thoughts. He was a very caring, and giving person . I know it looks like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but look real hard and you will see a little flicker, and each day the light will get brighter. Also remember that our LORD will not leave nor forsake us. I will pray for your family, and for you. GOD BLESS YOU and your family. Our prayers go out to you.
R.M. – Hepworth, Ontario, Canada
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Kelly, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart and prayers go out to you in this extremely difficult time. May our God of comfort carry you through your grief and hold you close. M.
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This site has been a strength to me. Likewise God will be a strength to the family. God gives Beauty for Ashes, Strength for Fear, Gladness for Mourning and Peace for Despair.
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Dear Kelly,
I know you don’t know me, but I have been following the prayers and thoughts and thints for awhile now. I am really sorry to hear about your husband’s death. You and your family are in our prayers and our thoughts.
R.W. – Kannapolis, North Carolina
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Dear Kelly,
Our prayers and thoughts all the way from Australia in appreciation of Kirk’s life and for your strength and comfort, from our Comforter in your time of need. Sincere prayers for your precious children and your extended family to gather in and close the circle. Remember we are told in Psalms sometime righteous men are taken to be kept from future sadness. He is certainly at home now with our Lord and Saviour, be assured of that. It is but a momentary seperation. Be strong and of good courage, the Lord is your tower of strength, for He is compassionate and well understands great sorrow. Go to Him with your sorrow and anger, your tears and anxiety, and cast your cares upon Him. For He is LOVE perfected.
Christian love and prayers,
T.&B.W. – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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To Kelly..
I read the articles.. devotions on this days thought daily.. I love you reading them.. All my love.. thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.. May the Lord give you all the peace and love you need.. He’s home with your Father right know.. pain free.. rejoicing.. Rejoice that He’s home with the Lord.. and you will see your husband again. My love and prayers are with you…
Blessings…
T.H.
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Dear Kelly,
I am very sorry to hear about the untimely passing of your beloved husband, Kirk. Please accept my deepest condolences. May the ever-loving God console, comfort, and uplift you and your family and bless you all with everything you need at this time. You can stand tall for through Kirk’s unselfish giving, a great number of people are encouraged, comforted and uplifted daily by the Word of God. Surely eternal rewards await Kirk.
Be comforted, Kelly, for Christians do not die; they merely fall asleep, waiting for God’s trumpet call to arise at our glorious Easter. So I do not say goodbye to Kirk; I’d say, “See ya later, brother!”
J.S. – Singapore
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Kelly~~~
You and your family are in my prayers.
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Kelly,
Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. I lost a young son unexpectedly, and the sorrow is deeper due to the shock. Please know that God was with Kirk, throughout his life, and when He called him home. Through Kirk’s assistance with this ministry, he has helped countless people to feel better and to feel closer to the Lord. I will keep you and your children in my prayers, that soon the thought of Kirk will bring joy to your hearts in place of sorrow.
Blessings,
J.
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Dear Kelly,
What a shock for you. I was a widow at 39 so I have an idea of what you are going through now. It does get better but, of course, your life has changed. Keep your faith, it will help you to get through this time of extreme sorrow. Set aside daily time with the Lord and for yourself. A bubble bath can do wonders. As they tell you on the plane: Put your own mask on first and then assist those around you. You and your family will be in my prayers.
Love,
B.
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Dear Greg,
Pls. relay to Kelly, Kirk’s wife, my hearthfelt thanks and condolences. I’m one of those blessed for years now by what her husband, through This Days Thought, has done. I’m on the other side of the globe – Philippines. The nuggets of truth that has been relayed to me daily has helped me in many ways in my personal walk with God and in my preaching.
I’m a bit sad because Kirk and I are of the same age and I feel that he’s too young to die. But I also understand that it’s not really how long a person lives that matters. It’s how many lives you’ve touched one way or the other. It’s quality that results to quantity…
Thanks and may God bless us all,
D.F.
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Dear Kelly, my heart and prayers go out to you as Kirk’s wife and to your children. God bless you and keep you all. My sons, “my boys” are soon to be 39 and 41, and to me that is sooooooooo young, and I have lost my youngest son, age 24.
I am so sorry, may God give you comfort, that Kirk is home now, and may God hold you in his palm, through your time of sorrow and grief, there are really no words of consolation, Hugs to all.
I love these messages, and enjoy them so, and now one person is missing, take care all.
B.A.
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So Very Sorry!
God Has His Hand On All Of Us!
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Hi kelly,
My subscription with this daily thoughts, devotional has been a great blessing to me. It sad to know that your husband has left not only you but all of us subscribers here on earth. At the same time it’s also nice to know that he has already fulfilled the duties that God has given to him. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15
God bless you and your family always!
R.P. – Philippines
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My dearest Kelly:
I know this time must be very difficult for you, bless you and I know the Lord will take care of you. Please know that you are in our prayers each day and will continue for comfort and guidance.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Prov. 3:6
Fondly,
N.W.
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Dear Kelly,
Words cannot express the grief I feel for your family during this most difficult time. Even though I did not know Kirk personally, the thoughts I receive in my inbox every morning are a great source of inspiration to me, and many times I have thanked God for the hands that make this ministry possible.
I know there is little I can say to ease your pain, but please know you and your children are in my prayers. I wish I were there to give you a huge hug, but know that God’s arms are wrapped around you always.
Yours in Christ,
R.G. – Clarksville, Tennessee
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Dear Kelley,
I am so very sorry for your loss. I did not know your husband, but I lost my fiance last year and life has been difficult for me every since. Some how I cant seem to find any joy in life anymore. But I pray that God will be with you and your family in the days and years to come. As a matter of fact, I know he will, so I will just thank him. Be blessed sister, in the name of Jeus.
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Your family are in my prayers. May God comfort you.
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Kelly,
Hello. My name is A. and I just heard the news about your husband. I’m so very sorry and just know that you are all in my prayers. Kirk is being taken care of by God now, and I’m sure is very happy in heaven. You will be with him again one day, but until then, just know that things will get easier. If you ever need to talk feel free to email me anytime. My email is —
All my sympathy,
A.
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TO Kelly,
I now you are in a very difficult stage in your life. You might think that it seems everything was went wrong and seems that GOD is so unfair for HIM to get the person he’s been using in the ministry effectively at This Day Thought.org.
KIRK has help so many persons in his ministry and GOD will surely reward him for his faithfulness. I’m just one amongs millions of people who was blessed at Kirk and this day thought ministry.
But rest assured, GOD has very good reasons why He let these things happened. You might not understand it at the moment, but surely GOD will reveal the reasons behind in His perfect time. I felt the same way as you do right now. My firstborn SON died without even seeing her mother and father. Without even enjoying the gift of life that GOD gave him.
Even her mother, my wife, who gave birth to him did not even saw his face and was not able to come at his funeral due to severe operations after giving birth. At first, we felt that GOD is so unfair, and even questioned why He is allowing this to happened to us.
We are so very expectant of our first baby, but that expectations was suddenly turn into tragedy. Tragedy that seems we can’t really bear. But, even at times we don’t know if GOD really cares, HE was THERE! He gave us comfort even we don’t recognize it.
He helps us bear whatever we can’t seem to bear. GOD was there embrassing us in his unfailing love, even at times we resists Him and thinks He don’t love us.
GOD was there, wiping our tears at times when we remember how tragic our situation was. His care, His love, His faithfullness, had helped us to continue on with our life.
And we are here, continuing to praise GOD with his unfailing love and faithfulness.
We believe, everything that GOD allows to come our way is with a purpose. He uses even the greatest error and the deepest hurt to mold us into a person of worth and value.
Sometimes, we must be hurt in order to grow.
We must fail in order to know.
We must lose in order to gain.
Some lessons are learned best only through pain.
I would like to share some lyrics of the gospel song which gave us
strength to face the difficult times that came our way. It says…
“GOD is too wise to be mistaken.
GOD is too good to be unkind.
When you don’t understand.
When you don’t see HIS plan.
TRUST HIS HEART.”
I may not understand at the moment why GOD has allowed those things to
happen. But, one thing is really sure… GOD has a better plan for us… we may
not see it now, but He sure has a better plan.
“He Himself has said,
I will not in any way fail you
nor give you up
nor leave you without support.”
Hebrews 13:5
“For I know the plans I have for you
Plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and future.” Jeremiah 29:11
We are with you in prayers.
R.M. and family.
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and friend… and the father of your children. He was so young. I cannot sit here and say I understand how you feel, because I don’t. I can experience the feeling of loss as I lost my mom when she was 42 from cancer. But I still cannot understand how you feel. Please know that my prayers are with you, and your children that the Lord would put the healing balm of Gilead on your lives each day to help you bear with the loss. HE is able.
Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble and HE knoweth them that trust in HIM.
Sincerely,
W.Y. – Missionary to Mongolia
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Hello, My name is H.L., I am a 40 year old Christian African American woman. I am the wife of S.L., the mother of 6 (4 boys and 2 girls) and a grandmother of a 1 month old baby girl. I have been receiving the day’s thought and day’s verse for approximately 3 months now. It has encouraged me in my darkest moments. My husband and I run a mortgage business out of our home. I left my 9-5 job of 10 years to join my husband a little over a year ago. It took tremendous faith. Kirk’s involvement in this ministry has touched my life at so many times when I was feeling down about business being slow and when I doubted my decision to stand alongside my husband in his business endeavor. I’d never experienced a loss in the family until last August when my Grandmother (who was the backbone of our family) went on to glory. It felt like someone was choking me when they said “Momma’s gone”. I had never felt that type of anguish in my entire life. My heart and my love go out to you Kelly. I will keep you in my prayers and remember that you and Kirk will meet again and sometimes when you hear a small voice in your mind it’ll be Kirk talking to you.
Peace and Agape Love,
H.L.
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Dearest Kelly
I’m sad to hear that Kirk was called back to be with the Lord. I really hope that things are fine over at your side and that you would stay strong during this time.
My prayer for you:
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for Kelly who has lost her husband, Kirk. Be very close to her during this time of grief and mourning. Lord, assure her that those who mourn will be comforted. Your Holy Spirit is the Comforter and He has the power to turn her mourning into dancing. Lord, give her this kind of assurance and the peace that passeth all understanding.
Father Lord, impart hope to Kelly during her time of sorrows. Let her mourning into joy as she realizes all that you have provided for her and her loved ones, to the end that her glory will sing praise to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I give you thanks forever for all that you are doing in her life.
Lord Jesus, help Kelly to see your power and to experience your love. Give her everlasting consolation and good hope through grace. May these blessings enable her to comfort her own heart and may they establish her in every good word and work.
In Jesus Christ most precious and almighty name I pray, AMEN.
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Dear Kelly,
I will keep your family in prayer, dealing with the loss of a husband at such a young age is a very sorrowful event. But God has a plan for you and His Will is Always for your best. I also, dealt with loss in my family, friends and close associates, it’s never an easy situation. you do however have my deepest sympathy.
The Lord Be With You,E.A.
G-d Bless and may His Peace Follow you always!
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My sincerest condolences. Kirk was a wonderful man with a good heart and a mission to fulfill. He did that. I will pray for you all.
J.
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Dear Kelly,
I am sorry to hear about your lost. I pray for God’s continuous presence and
His comfort to be upon you and your family.
I am one of the blessed ones who receive ‘This Day’s Thought’ daily, I thank God for Kirk for his faithfulness in serving and his dedication that has blessed so many people around the world…
S.K. – Malaysi
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Greg and Kelly,
Much of what comes into my email box is just junk, but I always read and remember the insightful thoughts provided by This days thought. Many of them are on my refrigerator right now. I’m so sorry about your loss. God has used this ministry to speak to my heart and challenge me to be a better christian. I’m not sure how many lives this ministry has impacted, but I know I have been so appreciative for it. I will rember you in my prayers. Kirk touched my life though his skill ! Thank you!
M.H. – Hartselle, Alabama
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I want to send my sympathy to you Kirk’s wife and families. He will walk in Gods Garden. My prayers goes out to his families. God Bless all.
From J.!
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Dear Kelly and family,
I didn’t know Kirk and he didn’t know me. But I just wanted to let you know that he touch my life. Life is busy and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to accomplish all the things that we want though out the day. Because of Kirk’s work in this ministry my days usually start with This Days Thought and for this I will ever be grateful to a man who made a difference in my life.
All my prayers and thoughts go out to you. I weep as I know you will have to endure much without him. (Both of my sisters have lost their husbands in their 40). God will be with you and your family.
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Dear Kelly,
I’m G. from Singapore.
I’m really really really sorry for your hurting. And at the same time, although I don’t know Kirk personally, I’m assured that God loved Kirk more than anyone does and took him home to be with Him earlier than we all expect.
My friends and I have benefited greatly from Kirk’s input into This Day’s Thought. And it is with a great many thanks that through Kirk’s effort we have been nourished spiritually. I know it’s kind of a roundabout way of ministering but it IS. And all my Christian friends have gasped often when something reaches out to them through the emails.
Please don’t give up on God and I’ll be saying a small prayer from this little island for you.
best regards,
G.
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Please be sure to let Kirk’s family know that they are in my prayers. The Lord promised not to put more on you than you can bear and blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of his Saints.
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Dear Kelley and family,
Please accept my sympathy, on the loss of your husband. I am sure you are stunned at his passing at such a young age. His work was a blessing to me. I enjoy
“This Day’s Thought” very much. I was unaware of his name, but I will think of him and you, from now on, when I receive “This Day’s Thought”. I am praying for you and for your family.
Most sincerely,
S.U.
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Kelly, you have my deepest sympathy. Know that this is only our temporary home and you meet Kirk again in our eternal home. You will be in my prayers.
In Christ Jesus,
J. †
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Dear Kelly: So sorry to hear of Kirk’s passing. I’m sure he was an inspiration to all. May God be with you and your family always.
Sincerely,
N.
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sad to learn of the untimely death of your husband. I am grateful to “This Day’s Thought” and I hope that you will find comfort in knowing that God has used Kirk to reach many souls you and he have never met. We cannot understand everything and most certainly losing our soulmate is especially hard. Use the tears the good Lord provides and accept the hugs, prayers and words of comfort that will come your way. Know that just as God sent Kirk into all of our lives to minister in “cyberspace” – you have been sent into our lives to pray for.
May God bless you and your family and may you feel his hand of mercy at this difficult time.
In His Love,
K.C.
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Please tell Kelly our love and prayers are with her in this time. It is not for us to question why, Kirk through his work showed his love for Jesus and now he sit with our Lord. Again, please let Kelly and the family know they are in our prayers.
R.C.
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Kelly and family,
My prayers are with you during this time of testing through loss. I cannot express my gratitude for those (Kirk and many nameless others) who have so generously kept this days thought site operational. To open a day’s mail and have such wonderful inspirational messages sets the tone for my attitude, gratitude and continued attempts to live the word of God. It is through the love and generosity of people like Kirk who have touched and bettered the lives of so many. Thank you for sharing him with us.
M.
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Dear Kelly,
My condolences. I will pray for you and your family. May you find comfort in
the Lord.
Sincerely, E.C.
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Kelly
May God be with you and your family, and may he give you peace and comfort and may he also give you the strength to move on to the next day. I haven’t been with your husbands ministry for very long at all, and already your husbands work has helped me. Obviously I did not know your husband, niether do I know you, but reguardless I have been blessed by your husbands work, and I know that you must have been extremely blessed to have known and loved him. I will pray for you and your family, and I hope that you and your family will be loved and taken care of during this awful time. Know that your husband is now face to face with the God that he served so willingly. Most of all know that that same God is right there beside you comforting you and he is always ready for you to come to him and share with him your deepest hurts. Take hold of the family God has blessed you with, and lean on Him when you just cant seem to go on. Realize that life will move on, and that in the future when you look back you will be able to see all the wonderful times that you shared with your husband. With much love and sympathy…
– J. –
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Hi, Kelly. You don’t know me, nor I you, but I had to write to let you know that you and your family are in my prayers. I’m so sorry for the overwhelming loss you have suffered. I pray that, in time, God will heal the pain so that the memories of your life with Kirk can bring you comfort. God can and will get you through this difficult time, Kelly. Of this, I know from personal experience. May God keep and bless you until you are reunited once again with your loving husband.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May you find strength and comfort in the prayers of those around you.
L.
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Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Kirk has helped many people receive the word of God through his kindness and generosity of time and expertise. I pray for you and your family, and believe that your faith will help you to get through this devastating time in your life. He is with God, and with you in your heart and spirit.
God Bless You and Your Family! I pray the Lord sends his healing angels to help heal your heart!
Love,
L.S.
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Dear Kelly. I know it will be hard to recieve lots of words at this time so I will just say what a blessing this site has been to me. Thankyou for releasing Kirk into ministry. May God hold you and the children and bring comfort. Shalom.
L.B. – Darwin, Northern Territory Australia
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Dear Kelly,
May God be with you in this time of trial, no words can ease the pain, just know alot of people are praying for you,
S.P.
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Dear Reader, please forward this to Sister Kelly for me please.
Kelly,
I want you to know that God is your only source. He will be our comfort and guide during times of death in our lives.Trust Him and He will take control.God always know why He lets things happen to us,even in the lost of our loved others. I’m so glad that Kirk played an important role in the Internet Ministry, reaching many people around the world…and most important He had Jesus!…….I hope that you are encouraged and that the body of Christ stands with you in this time of grief..(James 1:27 to visit widows..). And I am so glad that Greg informed me…..Take Care…..God Bless.
C.,18 years, Trinidad and Tobago – Caribbean
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Dear Kelly,
Just want you to know that right at this moment, thousand of miles away some one feels your pain and is praying for you. God is wonderful in the courage he bestows on people when we need it most.
R.
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Oh Kelly…I don’t have any words to say that would help at this time..I am so sorry for what has happened to you and your sweet family. I have experienced the death of a dear friend by a heart attack in his front yard..it was so sudden and he was only 56…it brings back to my heart the feelings of shock and pain and the “please don’t let this be happening God”. I can only imagine what you must be going through and will go through in the days and months to come. I can think of no greater tragedy then what you are experiencing…and what your little ones must be trying to understand. It’s such a shock and incredible loss..that’s so hard to accept..he was so young.
I will be praying for you..that you will be able to feel God’s arms around you and your children, hugging you tightly…holding you close to His heart. He is carrying you now and will be with you through it all. These things are sooooooo hard to understand..why does God take the beautiful, giving people, like your Kirk, home so early in life.
I don’t know you but if I was there, I would give you a hug…my heart goes out to you and up to the Father to be very close to you right now. I pray you will be surrounded by love..you are being held up in prayer. My love to you and your family and may all the precious memories of your beautiful loving Kirk carry you through this very hard time.
In Christs Love, D. (a daily reader of This Day’s Thought)
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Dear Kelly
My heart certainly reach out to you and your children even though I do not know you personally.I need to let you know that every morning when I open my edumail, I’ll deliberately sort out the thoughts and verse of the day first and without fail, they’ve been my source of inspiration and motivation for the day. I’m indeed bless by this simple ministry of Kirk and someday when I meet him in heaven, I’ll certainly let him know that.
May the Lord’s peace, strength and comfort be even more real to you and your children.
Your sister in Christ
S.Y.
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Hello Kelly,
My deepest sympathy for your loss. I am so so sorry, You and your family are in my prayers and just remember that Kirk’s spirit is alive and will be with you always. I lost my husband Dr. B.E. 5 years ago from an unexpected heart attack and yes he was also young. I have continued to feel his spirit many times and I believe that Jesus allows our loved ones that have gone on to be our guardian angels. The soul of man never dies.
God bless you,
L.E.
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Dear Kelly,
I pray you will be comforted in your sorrow.
C.W.
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Kelly
Words can never say what’s on the heart – I didn’t know the young man but my feelings of sympathy go out to his family…
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. 1 Corinthians 1:6
Praying that the Lord will comfort you with His peace, surround you with His love and encourage you with His presence…
Blessings and Peace
S.R.
A “Today’s Thought” daily reader
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The Lord must have desired a wonderful technician at his right hand.
God Bless Kelly and Family and may the warmth of all surround them at this time
K.&T.R. and Family, Vernon BC Canada
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Dear Kelly,
I am so very sorry for your loss. Your husband’s wonderful ministry has helped me and so many others that I forward it on to as well. Something this sudden is always a terrible loss and I want you to know that I will lift you and your family up in prayer. May the God of our Fathers comfort you and give you strength to continue on for the sake of your children and that we may continue spreading the Good News to the lost in this world of sin.
God bless and keep you
With His love and our Prayers
R.A. – Dixon, California
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Dear Kelly ~
I am so sorry for the sudden loss of your husband to you and your family. Surely you ache and long for his presence even while he rejoices being in the presence of our Lord and Savior. This ministry has blessed my life and that of my sister (who has been bed-bound with M. S. for the last 10 years) and I am grateful for your husband’s role regarding the technical aspects of making this program operational. I pray that God blesses and uplifts you and yours during this most difficult time.
Your sister in Christ ~ C.J.
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Hi,
I am so sorry to hear about what happened with Kirk. I trust and believe he is in a way better place. I pray that God comforts you as you go through this valley. God is faithful and loves us more than we can ever know. Someone told me today to repeat to myself the words, “My Father loves Me” everyday and outloud. I have a situation with my 19 year old son who is in prison. I get very upset about it and when I read your story , My heart just broke for you. I will be praying for you to be strong for the rest of your family. God bless you and many prayers.
M.S. – St Rose, Louisianna
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Dear Kelly, I wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you and
your family. I am very sorry to hear about Kirk, and your loss here on this
earth. I lost my sister the same way 5 months ago. I know this is not easy
for you to go through but know that God is right there with you, right now.
I will continue to pray for you all. Remember, never forget in the dark
what God told you in the light. And also, in the months ahead, if you can
find nothing to be thankful for, be thankful that Jesus came to die for you
and for Kirk, and for us to have eternal life. One day, you will see Kirk
again, when you see Jesus. I’ll be praying. Love and prayers to you,
G.B.
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I am sooo sorry to hear this..Will pray for his loved ones..What a shock to a family at so young an age..My 40 yr old daughter was having troulbles yesterday and thought it may be her heart.. what a shocker this must be!! Will pray for all! in Christ, R.
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I know that your heart and the heart of your family is breaking at this extremely difficult time. When one part of the “Body” hurts, the rest of the “Body” hurts with you. You may feel alone right now, but I pray that you know in your heart and Spirit, that you have people who have never met you, sharing your grief, praying for you, and lifting you, your children and all of your family members and loved ones up to the Father. May the peace of God which surpasses all of our understanding, rest upon you.
In His Love M.&F.D., and family
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Dear Kelly ,
Sorry to hear about Kirk, it must be very difficult moments for you and the children. My prayers are always with u that god gives you the courage to bear such a great loss. Trust Jesus he loves us all.
I.
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Sorry,
Blessing go out to Kirt and his family.Look at it like this The Lords server has ceased and he needs the best of us for assistance.
God Bless
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Dear Kelly,
Your husband was part of a ministry that has seen me through health crisis, downsizing (my job), a new position (of the Lord’s provision), and now the purchase of a home. There have been times when my life has literally hung on the words Kirk’s expertise allowed to be sent to many.
May the Lord Bless and Comfort You and may your heart be filled with the gratitude of many that were impacted by this ministry, and Kirk’s contribution to it.
God Bless You!
J.R.
“The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.” ~Mother Theresa
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I thank you for allowing your husband to give so much of his talent and time toward the feeding of the Lord’s word to so many of us! He enabled the ability of so many to find comfort, ease, guidance, forgiveness, and love by strengthening the connection of “This Day’s Thought” so it reached those searching and in need.
I thank the Lord for allowing him to be a member of the forum that has touched so many lives…I pray for you and your children that you find comfort in the many friends your husband has that he didn’t even know. You have those friends now too.
The Lord keep you and yours in His tender care and protection. This too shall pass…through the Lord you will find comfort and strength to carry on.
How proud you must be of your husband!
Yours in friendship and in the Love of the Lord,
L.
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Dear Kelly, I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my prayers. God had and will continue using your husband in many ways. I know you and your family must miss him dearly, however, what a better place for him to be. In the presence of our Heavenly Father. I know you’ve never met me…but if you need anything, please let me know, and I will do my best to help out in any way. Keep looking to God for comfort and strength each and every day. Your in my heart and prayers Your sister in Christ, A.
*
WOW I praise God for Men and Women who can praise him in times of trial! Thank you for being strong and you are in my families prayers.
God Bless you!
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Dear Kelly,
May God help you in a real way in this time of need
— in the absence of Kirk.
II Corinthians 1: 3,4
God bless you,
With prayers,
D.S.
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Dear Kelly and Family
My thoughts are with you.
J.
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I’ve been receiving this days thought for about 8 or 9 months now. I would just like to say that this ministry has helped me through some very rough times these past few months. It seems every time I was down the daily thought would know exactly what to say to bring me back to God. I would like to say that Kirk is with the Lord now and the angels are singing praises to the Lord because of him coming home. God Bless you Kelly for sharing your husband to us and giving us hope when things seem hopeless. I praise God for Kirk and this ministry. Your friend in Christ, T.
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To Kelly,
Be comforted to know that Kirk has touched so many lives in his lifetime.
Not a lot of us can say that.As one who has received the peace of God in
time of tremendous emotional upheaval, I say to you, just reach for His hand
for He has His had stretched out to you.
You and your family are in my prayer. Thank you for sharing Kirk to all the
subscribers of This Day’s Thought
N. from Los Angeles
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Dear Kelly
You and your family are in my prayers. God picked one of his finest roses
for his boquet. May God fill your heart with strengh through this tough
times.
Blessings from Laurika Badenhorst, Pretoria, South Africa
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Dear Kelly,
God did not promise days without pain,
Laughter without sorrow,
Sun without rain,
But He did promise strength for the day,
Comfort for the tears and
Light for the way.
Everything for the Best!!!
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Dear Kelly,
I have only been receiving ‘This Days Thought’ for a week now and it is such a blessing to me. My mother in-law passed away 3 weeks ago and the encouragement this site has brought me has helped me through this sad time. I trust God will give you the strength to deal with your heartache. Remember death has no victory if we are children of God.
Best wishes
C.V. – South Africa
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Its with great sadness and sorrow that I pass my condolenses to the wife and family of Kirk Im sure if there is anything we could do like if tears and memories could bring him back home we would all do that. Please dont be so sad Lean on God and his everlasting peace which tranceeds all understanding. John 14 he asks us not let our hearts be troubled we should believe in Jesus as well as God , he has told us In his Fathers house are many mansions and if it we not so Jesus would have told us. Take courage My sister, my brother God is in control over our lives and no matter what happens its all about him . Please rememeber that God is here he knows exactly how you feel and he will see you through.
All my condolences to your family and friends God is here and see he is doing a new thing.
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To Mrs. Kelly!
Thank you so very much for being a wife that shared her husband with others in times of need. When Mr. Kirk, offering equipment and expertise to (thisdaysthought.org) the web-site continued.
The (thisdaysthought.org) have been a joy, and comfort for me each day. I cut on my computer just to read the messages from (thisdaysthought.org). I look forward on my break at work or at home to read God’ s Word from this web-page. (Thisdaysthought.org) helps motivate me to read and share the Bible consistently.
Mrs. Kelly, it is okay to mourn the home going of Mr. Kirk. Yes! The human side of us hurts because the Lord called a faithful man, name Kirk home (your husband). Remember that Kirk’s job was complete here on earth, he had run his race, and his course on earth was completed. It was time for him to go home to live with Jesus.
Even though, he leaves to cherish a beautiful wife and young children. The Lord will provide (Jehovah- Jireh) for Kirk’s earthy family. Mrs. Kelly just keep trusting and believing.
Mrs. Kelly, you will see Kirk again in heaven. God’s promises (The Word; The Bible) are true! Thank! The Lord Jesus Christ for salvation!
Finally, Mrs. Kelly you can praise the Lord for your years with your husband. Remember! Mr. Kirk was another great soldier that helped share Jesus Christ with many. Truly, his rewards were ready for him in heaven from Jesus.
He had many crown ready for him but I know the first thing he wanted to do was to see Jesus Christ, the Savior!
I will continue to pray for you & your family
Love In Christ!
J.
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Dearest Kelly, – I am sure that at this time you find it difficult to come to understand what really has happened in your life, and even more difficult to understand why this has happened. It is even more difficult to get the right words across to you, to say I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I think the only person who may really understand is anyone who has lost her husband or her child.
My thoughts, and prayers are fo you this day, – may Our Blessed Father in heaven give you strength and carry you through this difficult and traumatic time.
I remain sincerely yours in Jesus Christ
D.
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Dear Kelly,
I am sending you my deepest sympathy during these difficult times because I am one of the may people blessed by the daily thoughts and messages made possible by your dear husband Kirk who is with the Lord right now. everyday since I have signed up to the daily inspirationals, I have looked forward to it because more often than not it has helped me through a stressful day.
I pray that the almighty lord will be your strength and sustenance and will empower you with all the grace you will need as well as your family to cope through the days ahead. remain strong in the lord and be assured of his provision for you.
we thank God for the live of Kirk and that he has granted him rest in his bosom.
God Richly Bless You
Yours in Christ
A.B. (UK)
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Dear Kelly, please read this, – and I hope that you will find some solace in these words.
Sincere regards and thoughtful wishes once again
D.
Verse: 2 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
– Grace is the favour and love of God towards us.
– His grace is enough to help us cope.
– We all feel weak from time to time.
– Our weakness is an opportunity for God’s strength.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray that I will discover that Your grace is all I need. Thank you that in my weakness I can trust YOU and as a result Your strength and power can shine through me. Amen.
Have a great weekend!
Regards,
*
Hello Kelly
You husband has been a Blessing to many people and his messages has toughed and changed many lives.
May the Lord give you the strength you need in this difficult time.
God Bless
N.V.
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Dear Kelly & Family
I am writing from South Africa. My thoughts are with you during this time. I do not let a day go by without reading my “Thought for the Day”. May God bless you and may you have peace.
Warm regards,
J.B.
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Dear Kelly
My sincere condolences.
I am very sorry for the death of your husband. But hay, everything happends for a purpose.
One day you and all of us who have been inspired by what your husband was doing will meet him, Just hold unto the Lord Almighty the one who gives and takes away.
I know it may be hard for you and your family but just look to Jesus who conquered death. He is the comfort to those who mourns.
I will keep on praying for you and your family.
God bless you.
P.
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Dear Kelly
My sincere condolences.
I am very sorry for the death of your husband. But, everything happends for a purpose.
One day you and all of us who have been inspired by what your husband was doing will meet him, Just hold unto the Lord Almighty the one who gives and takes away.
I know it may be hard for you and your family but just look to Jesus who conquered death. He is the comfort to those who mourns.
I will keep on praying for you and your family.
God bless you.
P.
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Kelly,
Thanks for sharing your wonderful husband with us. The daily Bible verses , devotional, and prayers mean so much to me. God will sustain and comfort and guide you and your family as you continue to serve Him.
Love and prayers,
M.
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Kelly
Many times I came to the office feeling down because of life’s circumstances but when I read some of the daily thoughts, devotionals and verses it always brought a sense of peace in the midst of the storm.
KIRK WILL CERTAINLY RECEIVE A GREAT REWARD IN HEAVEN FOR WHAT HE DID TO SPREAD THE WORD!!!
My prayers and thoughts are with you, and I am sure Kirk’s love will always be with you – it’s like the wind, you cannot see it but it’s there!!!
I believe if you can touch only one person and mean something to somebody then life is worth it all Kelly.
Your husband touched many people’s lives through what he did and sacrificed for God, he was a mighty channel, MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER DREAM OF!!!
May today there be peace within you. May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you…. May you be content knowing you are a child of God…. Let His presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love again. It is there for you and your children!!!!
BLESSED ARE THE BROKEN HEARTED FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED!!!!
C.C. – South Africa
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I am a subscriber of This Day’s Thought since more than a year. Usually I start my day after going through your mail which I get every day and often I save your messages in a folder. Although I am a Muslim I agree with most of your thoughts. I am really sorry to hear of Kirks death May he rest in peace. Please pass my condolences to his wife Kelly and family.
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Dear Kelly,
I have been receiving this messages since last year when I subscribed and they have been inspiring and strengthening. I am deeply saddened by the passing on your husband and would like to tell you that you are in our prayers and may God give you strength and consolation especially this time of sadness but we believe that he will guide you and the children as he is our Father and he has good plans for each one of us.
G.K. – Nairobi Kenya
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Kelly,
Thank God for allowing you to know Kirk, loving him and being with him. Thank him for the life he lived, where he touched so many lives through the technical support he rendered and thank him for Loving you and the blessings he has showered you with. Till you meet with Kirk on that day when Jesus comes, thank God all the time. May the Good Lord comfort and make you strong as you morn your late husband.
M.S. – Lusaka, Zambia
Take care and God bless you.
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Dear Kelly
It’s never easy to loose a loved one and sometimes one runs out of words to comfort the ones left behind, but remember this He’ll never leave nor forsake you. May God heal the wound in your heart.
Hold on, by E.J.
Some times life treats you bad, Everything goes oh so wrong And, Sometimes you feel so all alone Family and Friends are nowhere to be found Troubles come and Troubles go
When will it ever stop, I don’t know So many times you’ve cried: Dear Lord, Why has Thou forsaken me Hold on! Be Strong! Stand up, Hold Tight Fight the Fight Hold on! Be Strong! Joy cometh in the morning. So don’t you dare give up. And don’t you dare give in. He’ll never leave nor forsake you, NO! Jesus, He knows how much you can bear Troubles come and Troubles go When will it ever stop, I don’t know So many times you’ve cried: Dear Lord, Why has Thou forsaken me
E.J. – Cape Town, South Africa
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Dear Kelly,
I am very sorry to read this message today, and I offer you my deepest condolences. I thank God for the work brother Kirk has done to enable so many people like myself to receive the Word of the Lord at the start of each day. At a sad time like this, no words will be good enough, except His Word. I hope these verses will comfort you and sustain you:
“Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1-2
God Bless,
S.T. – Singapore
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Dear Kelly,
It was with great sadness that I heard of your tragic loss. I am ashamed to admit that as a regular receiver of items from ‘This Day’s Thought’ I receive these messages with very little thought of all that goes behind them, just receiving the blessings and challenges – please forgive me for this.
I know that our wonderful, caring, loving Heavenly Father will sustain you and your family at this time, wrapping His tender arms of love around you.
With much love in Jesus,
A. – (from England)
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Dear Kelly,
I hope this note finds you happy and healthy. I felt led to write you a a note, to let you know that your life and the life of your family members are truly in my prayers. I pray that your heart dwells in the love of Christ, and in hope of seeing your husband again, and soon. I am only 17, and have honestly never experienced something so heart gripping in my life, like the death of a love … but I know, that with the power of prayer, and the power of trust in the Lord.. your heart will be in peace and comfort (and hopefully already is) knowing that the Lord will never put more in your life that you could handle. He is a very gracious, loving, giving Father, and knows that he has a perfect plan for you, and for your beautiful family. I thank the Lord for your Husband’s life and his inspiration in my life. With his contribution to the small e-mail i get every day in my e-mail box, i find myself that much more moved, and that much more in love with my one and only God. I thank the Lord for you, and your heart… I say one thing out of true sisterly love (and kindness 🙂 ) : Stay on fire for the Lord… Never give up on Him or yourself, because he will NEVER give up on you.
Your sister in Christ,
J.H.
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Dear Kelly,
Times like this we probably will ask the Lord why?
Sometimes it seems that He has neglected us or foresaken us, but He has said “He will never leave us nor forsake us”, He has said that “He taketh away the righteous man that He may not see evil, sometimes He takes us away our candle stick that we may forever be with Him. The Word od GOD says that “Precious in the eye of the Lord is the death of His saint”.
Kirk has been a blessing {” You shall be a blessing to men”}, his light shone may continents from his. His light shines still. In his passing to Glory, He is victorious with Jesus. He has blazed a trail in your life with his words and deed, that you may follow who he follows, Jesus.
Jesus, himself once died, leaving behind His loving mother, friends and family. But He died that we all may live eternally.a portion that Kirk now fulfils. He lives still, now no longer in this frail body of clay but in a glorious body that cannot be sick nor weary nor destroyed.
Let this joy fill you that he is Home with Jesus and They (Jesus & Kirk ) and the multitude of witnesses are urging you and your family to fight on this good fight of faith.
We love you, we love kirk and above all Love Jesus.
Stay Blessed
S. – Lagos, Nigeria
Habakkuk 3:17
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Habakkuk 3:18
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk 3:19
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. }
(KJV)
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Dear sister,
Honestly I don’t know how to console you. And I know whatever I say at this moment will do no good to you. Only thing I’d like to say is we’ll remember you and your family in our prayers and ask Jesus Christ to give you the strength and hope to face the future and find peace in Him.
With love,
A sister in Christ.
S.
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Dear Kelly,
What can I say to comfort you? I’m so sorry to hear of Kirk’s death – my heart goes out to you and the children and also the extended family. I just want to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and I want to thank you and Kirk for your ministry to so many people.
May the God of all comfort be with you and give you peace in the midst of your sorrow.
with love
G.E. (LIverpool)
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Dearest Kelly,
Hi! I’m A.L., this days thought has always been a blessing to me and so Kirk as he is behind & helps this ministry.
I would like to extend my sincerest condolence to you and your family. It’s nice to know Christian out there through the internet messages, I may not know all the person’s behind this ministry but I’m thankful that they had inspired me and my Christian walk.
Knowing Kirk’s labor of love is not in vain in the Lord and that he finds way home to the Father is the greatest comfort to us.
Kelly, I may not be in your situation but I know someone you can cling on as He said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God bless you and your family!
In Christ,
A.L.
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Please tell his wife Kelly that I will pray both for him, her and the young family that he left behind.
God wanted Kirk to go and abide with him at a fairly young age, the reason for this is unknown to us mortals but I am certain that He had a specific reason for plucking him up and taking him away to enjoy His presence.
It is true that separation is painful and more painful when it happens at such an age and without notice but as Christians we believe that this life is only a pilgrimage and our home is with our Creator.
In my country (Malta) we have a saying that God picks the most beautiful of flowers in their full bloom before they whither
May God console Kelly, help provide for her and her family’s needs and ask her please not to question God’s actions because we will never be able to understand them.
A.
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Dear Kelly,
Sorry on your loss.I know how it feels when u lose somebody whom u really love and care about but the Lord above has his own plan and maybe now you may seem hurt about everything but i am sure your husband is watching over you and praying for you.be strong and remember our Lord doesnt take away people from our lives so that he can make us feel lonely but for us to actually realise that we loved them that much ….once again i say God has his own plans.
take care and may God bless you and your family
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My heart joins yours in sadness at the news of the sudden loss of your beloved Kirk. Although I never knew him, nor even knew of him until this morning, God has seen fit that I know of him now…How thankful I am to God for the piece of his life that he shared with the internet ministry. He helped to provide folks he would never know on earth with a morsel of
wisdom from God. I praise God for his good work and pray that God will lift you and your family up with bountiful comfort through this time. I will look forward to meeting Kirk in heaven. May God bless you always – and all ways, Your sister because of Jesus The Christ,
J. in Connecticut
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Our deepest condolences to Kirk’s family, we really appreciate from the bottom of our heart the good work that Kirk has done for motivating million number of soul’s with the free service on <http://www.thisdaysthought.org>, may the good Lord bless Kirk’s family and give them the courage and strength to bare all the odds that come through in their lives specially this one.
God Bless,
Best regards,
J. & all here from India
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May the Comforter, abide in and hover over this wife and family in such a way that all who see them will truly be, astonished and amazed. May every loving memory of this Godly man, Godly father, and Godly husband, flood their mind, to give them, the precious memories of only the most wonderful things. May God bless this family, and hold them up with HIS righteous right arm during their time of loss.
Amen
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Kelly & Family:
We are so fortunate to have experienced the results of Kirk’s handiwork via the ThisDay’sThought. Thank you for sharing him with so many. We send our deepest sympathy and will keep you in our prayers.
Sincerely,
A.R. – Dayton, Ohio
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Dear Kelly,
You don’t know me, but I read my day’s thought for today. I heart and prayers go out to you and your children. God has a purpose for everything under heaven, even though we don’t know WHY sometimes! I’m saddened to ready about your lose, and tried to put myself in your place. I’m just 37 years old and have a wonderful christian husband who is 43, and three lovely children. God has blessed me. I will prayer for you that God will see you through this, give you peace that only he can give you, and show you his love every single day!
Please write back when you can and keep in touch…share with me your prayer request, etc.
In Jesus’ Love,
B.
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Dear Kelly,
I put Kirk and you and your family on our prayer list.
P.T.
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kelly i am so sorry to hear about your husben. please know you and your children are in my prayers . kirk was a good man and he did the lords will, jesus will tell him good job faithful servant. may god bless you and your family R.
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PLEASE GIVE MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO KIRK’S FAMILY. THANK YOU ALSO FOR THE SERMONS ON HOW TO LIVE BY FAITH.
D.
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To Kelly and Family,
My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I klnow the road ahead will be a very hard road to go on, as I too have ben thru the same. Just stay with God and he will lead you thru the rough waters.
God Bless
S.
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Kelly,
God is with you and he knows how you feeling now. He is not going to leave you and your family alone.
I am with you in prayers and the ALMIGHTY will be your Shepherd and he will be your comforter during this time.
God Bless you.
J.
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Dear Kelly
I am a Subscriber to Thoughts and Devotional Daily. My name is D.B., I live in Liberia and my life has change greatly and also blessed by the daily devotional thoughts.
I am so sorry to hear about the death of your husband; who has been of great help to the daily messages. I know it is not easy for you; but God knows why and we cant question him. He has a plan for each and every one of us. Its hard for you but I urge you to take courage and hold on to his unchanging hands; because God will not give you a burden you cant bear. We know you love Kirk but God loves him best.
Take care and I will always remember you in prayer.
Take care and God Bless You.
D.B.
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My heart goes out to Kelly and her family. Each day I struggle with the ways of life and the days thought helped me to keep perspective on what is really important. I believe Kirk is with our Lord and is truly the lucky one 🙂 Peace
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Dear Kelly,
I want you to know how much I appreciate your husband’s work. I have been encouraged every morning, first thing, by my Thought for the day. I give you Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.” Your dear husband is beholding the Beauty.
In the service of Jesus,
E.
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Kelly,
What a shock! My prayers are with you and your family during this tragic time. God is faithful to you as He was to Kirk.
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Dear Kelly, My heart aches for you and your family. May God bless you and keep you in his care. Sincerely, J.L.
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DEAR KELLY AND FAMILY,
I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. I AM 33 AND MY HUSBAND IS 35 WITH TWO SMALL KIDS. I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE THE PAIN YOU ARE ALL FEELING. JUST KNOW YOU ALL ARE IN MY PRAYERS, AND THAT GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU ALL.
C.
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Kelly,
My prayers go out to you and your family. We will never know why God has schedule Kirk to leave at this time, but do know that he will care for you and your family. My his peace and grace be with you and yours from this day forth.
God Bless You,
M.A.
email reader
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Dear Kelly;
I would like to express my condolences for the passing of you husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and friends.
May God continue to bless you with his will.
Sincerely
J.M.
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Dear Kelly,
I know at this moment you are deep in grief and probably wondering why this has happened to someone so young and faithful as your husband Kirk. I do not have any answers to those why’s, but I do know that God will sustain you and your family at this time. You are in my prayers, because these Daily Thoughts have enhanced my ministry among God’s people. They have been encouraging and supportive in my daily walk with our Lord.
Again let me express my heartfelt sympathies to you and my prayer is that God through His Holy Spirit will be your strength and comfort in this time.
R.
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Dear Kelly,
I’m so sorry to learn about your loss and pray for God to bring His peace and protection to you and your family, J.
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I’m sorry to hear of Kirk’s sudden passing but please extend to his family my sympathy and appreciation for his dedication to your work.
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Dear Kelly, I’m so sorry to hear about you loss. I didn”t know Kirk but he blessed me every day with his part in This Day’s Thought and Verse. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.
B.F.
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How sad. But praise God he is with his Lord.
J.M.
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My mother always told me that every good act gives you a coin to collect for the day you were to go before God. He went with his hands full of them. It is not how many years you live, but how you live them, and that has to confort you. God Bless.
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My prayers for God’s comfort is with you. I never knew who, how or why I really started getting these daily devotionals & thoughts….but it has been such a blessing to me. I have shared so many of them with my children’s committee, the women’s group @ church and even with some of co-workers and email buddies. To have an encouraging word waiting for me each morning……praise God…..there has never been a time in my life when I have needed it more, than over the past year. I’m sorry, I could never express in words how much of a blessing your husbands work was in my life. And I can’t even imagine the depth of your sorrow for the lost of such a young wonderful servant, husband, father. My heart aches for you.
Be mindful that God is in your midst to comfort you. My prayers are with you. GOD BLESS
L. – Savannah, GA
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I am so sorry, my heart goes out to you and the family. Your messages have meant a lot to me. First my sister was forwarding them, now I’m subscribed. Although it doesn’t ease the loss, I know that Kirk is with God now and in personal face-to-face fellowship with Him, which is a joyous thing..
S.
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Dear Kelly,
While I never knew your husband, or even knew about him, I now find out that I have benefited greatly from his ministry. May God wrap you in his love and peace. I count it a privilege to pray for you and your family.
H.P. – Crystal Springs, Mississippi
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May God strengthen you Kelly. I am deeply sorry.
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To Kelly & Family, and Kirk’s friends at TDT:
Please accept our most sincere sympathy for the loss of your husband, father and friend. The Lord’s Plans for us are sometimes difficult to understand, but stay strong in your faith and He will reveal His plans to you in His time. We are and will continue praying for all of you. Remember that there are hundreds (thousands?) of email subscribers who love the same Lord that you do, and are praying for your during this very difficult time. May you feel the love and support of all these folks. Wishing you comfort and peace, especially the Blessed Peace that passes all understanding…
A friend in Christ,
M.
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I am sorry to learn to what happened to your dear husband, father,collegue, friend and more so your brother in christ. One thing iam sure that if your endeavour to do your Father’s will you shall surely see him again. I pray that God will grant His mercies, consolation and companionship during this and later times. He does what He thinks is good.
S. – Kenya
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I’m so sorry for your lost. You are in our prayers and or thoughts. May God be with you all as your strength and comforter and guide you through this difficult time.
God Bless,
L.K.
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You and your family are in my prayers…May God comfort you in your sorrows.
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Dear Kelly:
I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. I just wanted to tell you that your husband’s contribution to This Day’s Thought was very much appreciated. I look forward to the daily messages (along with This Day’s Verse) and have many of them clipped out and posted on my bulletin board at work. Your husband’s generosity had an impact on many people, he probably had no idea of how many, because I am sure there are many like me that appreciate this ministry that he was a part of. My prayers are with you and your family as you find your next direction
while in the shelter of God’s loving hands.
J.
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Dear Kelly
My thoughts, prayers and love are with you and your children at this time. 12 Years ago, when my husband and I were 28 and our children (twins) 8 years old, he died suddenly with no prior illness, of a heart attack. At that time, I thought that would surely die or at the very least go mad. All I knew was that my life was never going to be the same again. I was right, my life never was the same again. I went through physical pain everytime I had to confront the fact that my husband was gone and not coming back. My son was hurt and angry at the same time. What my daughter was going through I could not tell at the time. She carried on as if nothing had changed and from that day for the next several years avoided any mention of her father. My son became insecure in that if I was just 5 minutes late from work he’d panic. My daughter became surly and aggressive. However, with counselling, love, support, prayers and above all, faith, we slowlly and eventually started healing. The healing process is time consuming and ongoing. For us who believe, it is made easier (once we have come to acceptance), knowing that our husband and father will live on in Christ and that one day we will all be reunited in Christ again. We also know that our Father is with us in each and every moment of our grief and if we just let him, he will comfort us with his unconditional love.
A burning question at this time is almost always WHY. Even though we may never know why our partner had to die, our faith will remind us that God does not allow anything to happen that we cannot deal with or handle – especially if we look to Him for guidance.
Kelly, I pray that you and your children find comfort and solace in God’s love, remembering that God has a special place in his heart for Widows and the fatherless and that He will always provide for your needs.
God Bless you my dear!
B.
(ps: You do not need to be strong … this is a terrible thing that has happened, vent your grief/anger/pain!)
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Kelly,
Please accept our symathies. My wife’s father had a heart attact early in life, so I know what this means to a family.
I have received “This Day’s Thought” for quite a while, and it is one of the first messages that I open. The thoughts act as a devotional for me. Thank you for supporting Kirk in this important part of my devotional life.
You are in our prayers.
C.W., pastor, Bethel, Missouri
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Dear Kelly, I pray that you will find courage to go forth in Grace by God’s Word, just I as I have by your husbands daily gift more times than I can count….. S.
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Kelly, you and your family have my sympathy and I will keep you in my prayers.
I just want you to know how much Kirk has helped so many people. I use This Days Thought for our Hope and Healing Depression/Anxiety Support Group here in Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota. You can’t believe how these words help us who are hurting from a mental illness. So always know how much Kirk has done for many others too.
Love from a sister in Christ, D.C.
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Kelly and Family,
Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of loss.
G.B. and Family
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Even though I am a fairly new subscriber to this days thought, I have enjoyed and been blessed by the many messages. It breaks my heart to hear about Kirk. What an awesome servant he was!!! Please give my deepest sympathies to his family. Isn’t it great to know that his going away will only be temporary because we will all meet together again!! PRAISE GOD!!
God Bless.
D.B.
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My thoughts are so torn here. The loss of a husband and father is one that will take such a great deal of time to heal. At the end of the healing time his wife and children will have a completly different relationship with the Lord than they did before. It will be a priceless change! But at such a cost of pain. Here they will truly suffer with Christ.
Than again. When is a bad day for a christian to go home….today this faithful servant of God is wrapped in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and being welcomed home with a resonding, “Well done good and faithful servant.” How awesome it will be to hear those words.
My prayers go out to his family with true knowledge that Christ has them wrapped right now in his loving arms as well.
T.
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Dear Kelly,
We are so sorry to hear of the sudden homegoing of your husband. May God comfort your family and give you strength for the days ahead. You are in our prayers.
He cares for you – 1 Peter 5:7
P.&D.S.
May it be a comfort to you that his service blessed and inspired so many people. God bless you.
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Hi Kelly – please accept my deepest sympathies and my prayers for you and your family at this very difficult time. Kirk’s work brought this days thought and verse to me each day and it has been incredible it has given me an answer to prayer. I am a director of Youth For Christ in Eastern Europe (although I live in Northern Ireland) and many times God spoke to me to encourage me through these little messages.
I hope that you will know that Kelly made a big contribution to the lives of a great many people. I pray that the arms of Jesus will comfort you.
God bless
J.H.
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Dearest Kelly: I can hardly imagine your grief and shock. I recently lost my mother, who was much older than your dear husband, and found it one of the hardest losses I’ve ever endured. Please know that there are hundreds …. even thousands of people, like myself, who have been blessed by this ministry, given so freely by your husband and Greg. I am sure the Lord is welcoming him home with open arms saying…… “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
Keeping you in prayer…. B. in Oregon
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Dear Kelly and family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. May you find comfort in the knowledge that Kirk is with his Lord and savior and may you feel the presence of
your God as He surrounds you with His comfort, peace and Love.
In Him,
P.D.
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Dear Kelly:
I am earnestly praying for you and your family. Know that there is no sorrow that heaven can’t heal. I pray that God will comfort your hearts in this trying time.
Be blessed in Jesus name,
S.R.
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Dear Kelly and family,
Please know of my prayers for you and your family in the sudden passing of your husband and dad. May the “Well, done, good and faithful servant” that you can be assured were Kirk’s homecoming words as His Father was waiting with open arms, give you peace and comfort. Hang on to promises of scripture – He will never leave you or forsake you. His grace is sufficient.
With sincere Sympathy,
A sister in Christ – L. from Renville, Minnesota
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Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband Kirk. I have attached
a copy of one of my favorite poems and hoping that it may bring you some
comfort. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
In Christ,
D.C.
The Plan of the Master Weaver
Our lives are but fine weavings that God and we prepare, Each life becomes a fabric planned and fashioned in His care. We may not always see just how the weavings intertwine, But we must trust the Master’s hand and follow His design, For He can view the pattern upon the upper side, While we must look from underneath and trust His hand to guide. Sometimes a strand of sorrow is added to His plan, And though it’s difficult for us, we still must understand That it’s He who fills the shuttle, it’s He who knows what’s best, So we must weave in patience and leave to Him the rest. Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why. The dark threads are as needed in the Weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned. With Deep Sympathy,
D.C.
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Dear Kelly, I send my condolences to you and your family.
L.B.
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My prayers are with you Kelly and your family. I really have appreciated the verses everday. Sometimes they are all I need to get me back on track with the Lord.
Your Sister in Christ,
-E.
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Dear Kelly:
I am so sorry to hear about Kirk, he was truly a blessing to this ministry. I will continue to pray for you and your family and may God continue to bless you. Sincerely, I.
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Dear Kelly,
While I sympathize with you and your loved ones on the death of your husband but remember the verse in scripture that says sweet is the death of the saints to God. Kirk has left his foot print in the sand of time, he has been a blessing to a lot of people beyond your imagination. I am one of such and am writing from Nigeria. May God console you, uphold you, and keep you till his appearing.
Shalom
J. – Nigeria
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Dear Kelly
I don’t know you, nor your husband, but just felt I wanted to write to identify with you in our common humanity. I cannot imagine what you must be going through at the moment. Is God faithful? Is he loving? Sometimes all we can do is scream our pain and confusion to God, and trust that something of his infinite wisdom and compassion overflows into our lives.
S.C.
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For some reason, yesterday, I thought I would discontinue “This Day’s Thought.” I don’t know why I had that thought, but it caused me to think about something that I never really think about. I just go to my inbox, click, read, think for a second and move on to my busy day.
I had this thought that, “people are putting in a nice effort, day in and day out, to insure this word gets out.” I get spoiled with the Word because I have so much good material I read and I’m in seminary so I’m in devotional/study mode all the time. But my time considering this ministry, yesterday, made me realize what a blessing it is to me and others that receive it.
When I heard the news later about Kirk, it was heart-breaking. Kelly, obviously, I didn’t know Kirk, but he helped insure the Scriptures were delivered everyday. I read them every morning at my computer. His ministry was a blessing for many people. I pray the light and love that he was responsible for sharing with so many shines on you and your family at this difficult time. May God be with you during this time of grief and sorrow at an enormous loss.
J.
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Miss Kelly: May God bring you strength and love to get you through this very difficult time. Please know our love and our prayers are with you always. Trust in God and know that He has Kirk with Him.
God bless you always.
L.D.
A devoted subscriber
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So very sorry to hear about your loss. I will keep you in my prayers. I know God will take care of you.
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Dear Kelly,
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Kirk was part of a very important ministry that has undoubtly touched thousands of lives. He will be missed.
L. in Fresno, California
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Dear Kelly and Family,
I am deeply sorry for the loss of your husband and my brother in Christ.
I know that he is in the hand of God and that ALL is well with him.
I trust and pray that our Lord will give you comfort and peace.
He loves you and cares for you.
Kirk was a blessing to all of us who received and read This Day’s Thoughts, Verses, etc.
We thank the Lord for him and the work that he so faithfully did.
Sincerely,
G.S. – Somerset, Massachussetts
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Kelly:
We have put you and your family on our prayer list.
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
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Dear Kelly,
I am saddened to hear of your beloved husbands passing. Rest assured that Kirk is in the loving hands of our Lord and Savior now and he has a plan. Due to Kirk’s determination to keep the ministry going, many of us around the world have been comforted as well as enlightened by the preaching of this ministry and the good books versus. I will pray for you and your family during your time of sorrow. God Bless you and your family.
K.S. – Tampa, Florida
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear about Kirk’s passing my prayers are with you and your family.
Even though I did not know your husband he must have had a huge heart and great deal of love to give. Even though he is not with you his love will always be.
My prayers and thoughts are with you,
K.
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Hi Kelly
I am so sorry to hear of Kirk’s sudden death and pray that the messages you will receive from all over the world will be like soothing waters for this very deep painful wound.
I pray that God will just flood your home and family with His love and grace. For God knows what you need before you ask Him. I am sure you know Matthew 5 well, and that thos who mourn shall be comforted.
Finally, Kirk is a fellow heir with Christ and you will see him again in Heaven with God our father and be bound to Him in God in a more complete way than you can ever imagine. God never lets anything happen unless it is for the good of those who love him. Therefore though it is painful, I am sure God in His sovereign will has allowed this tragic loss to happen to enable you to draw closer to Him and depend on Him more completely as one of His children, that you might love and comfort others as Jesus has loved and comfroted you.
God bless you and your family and you are in my thoughts and prayers.
J.G., Brother in Christ.
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Oh, how terribly sad. Know that we are upholding his family in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
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Dear Kelly,
I just wanted to extend my sympathy and condolences to you and your bereaved family. God knows, God sees and God cares about all of your sorrows and will comfort you at this time of loss.
May God give you strength thru His unspeakable joy now and always!
Respectfully,
C.C.
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To Kelly and family,
My heart goes out to you in your time of need. Please find comfort in the fact that Kirk’s work has left an imprint on my life and the lives of many. God, who is the husband of the widows and the father of the orphans, will meet your needs and Kirk’s work will be rewarded by our Heavenly Father, Who is faithful.
In Christ,
R.H.
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You are in our thoughts and prayers.
E.T.
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Dear Kelly,
I am a subscriber to This Day’s Thought and I wish to express my sorrow to you and your family on your husband’s homegoing. Although you will miss his earthly presence, I pray you find comfort in knowing that though he is “absent from the body, he is present with the Lord.
My prayer is that God will comfort and bless you with the peace that passes all human understanding. I also pray that God will allow you to have a sense of the rejoicing of the angels in heaven of another saint welcomed to his eternal home.
God bless you and your family.
Love,
V.W.
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Dear Kelly and Family:
I’ve been a subscriber to This Day’s Thought for over three years now and I just wanted to extend my sincere condolences to you and your family. I cannot imagine such a loss but please know that I was pained and touched to hear the sad news of Kirk’s passing.
I have never met your or Kirk but his participation in the success of This Day’s Thought has made a huge impression on me. I have endured many hardships at work and in my personal life and the daily enlightenment of This Day’s Thought has assisted me with remaining strong, mindful, and faithful to God and His plan for my life.
Kirk’s soul, you, and your family are in my prayers. Thank you!
D.R.
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My heartfelt sympathy to Kirk’s family.
May God Bless You All,
K.M.
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Dear Kelly,
I am very sorry to hear about your husband. I pray that the Holy Spirit would be your comforter during this time. You are in my prayers.
Sincerly,
M.F.
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Dear Kelly and family,
Your walk is never alone. As a recent subscriber, I have printed “This Day’s Thought” to read to my husband as we share the commute home from work daily. Please know that Kirk’s hand in providing This Day’s Thought has been part of God’s plan in ALL of our lives and it is through the devotion of his talents towards ministry in this way, that we have all been touched by Kirk’s life… even on someone’s commute home, his work for God touched someone, somewhere.
Kelly, as part of your spiritual family, please know that we are saddened by your loss. We will pray over you that God will tend to your needs, abate your fears and bring you strength and comfort.
A sister in love and faith,
B.
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Dear Kelly,
My prayers are with you and your family. Kirk has provided a wonderful service to so many of us. I will think of you now each time I open my Thought For the Day, and I will say a little prayer, just for you. May you find comfort in the Lord at this time and gain joy in knowing that Kirk is with Him. Sincerely,
J.C.
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All that I can say is to be blessed. Your family will be in my prayers.
This ministry keeps me going.
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Dear Kelly,
I am very sad to know that you have lost your precious husband at such a young age!! May our Lord be very close to you and
your children at this time and try to draw strength from the fact that Kirk is present with the Lord. We thank God for Kirk’s life
and for how he touched the lives of others. My prayers will be with you as you go through these dark days of grieving but let
me assure you – you will laugh again, you will notice the beauty around you, you will hear the birds singing – I know because
I lost my husband 5 years ago. The Lord God be with you all.
E.R. – Cape Town, South Africa
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Dear Kelly,
if there is anything I can do do not hesitate to ask.
Sincerely,
M.K.
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my condolences
God Bless
D.J. Isle of Wight, England
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Yes, I would like to send my condolences to Kirk’s wife.
M.
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Kelly,
Your family is our prayers. I cannot say that I have taken the time to thank the Lord for the people who are “behind the scenes” of these daily thoughts that I receive, but I can say they have touched my heart. I thank God for those people now. Your husband is with the Lord and someday all of us who never had the chance to thank him will be able to. Take comfort in knowing you will see him again.
Your sister in Christ,
S.R.
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Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It is meant to, and couldn’t do it better. Every seed destroys its container or there would be no fruition.
— F.S.-M.
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What an awful shock Kirk’s death must have been for his family and friends. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of Christ, rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon Him. Our comfort is that we are not like those without hope and that nothing can separate us from the love of God. . . neither life, nor death. . . and to remember that we are all on loan to one another. We give thanks that such a man was here on this earth, if for only a short time. It is a great gift from God to be able to share such a one for even a brief moment.
Love in Christ,
L.
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i am sad that someone so loved has passed. but more shall be disclosed. Jesus our father God is with us and kirk is resting in a much better place. we get attached in this world of things but it is our father who we need to lean on always not just in time of need.
i love you all
peace
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry for you. Please know that my prayers are with you. Let God be your comforter and guide you through this time of sorrow.
My Prayers,
R.
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Lord Jesus, send comfort for Kelly and her family. Just fill her with your peace of mind, joy unspeakable and confidence that You are in control. We love you Lord and are trusting you completely. We pray in Your Son’s precious name, Jesus, Amen
T.
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To Kelly and family:
Thank you for sharing your husband with all of us that have gained so very much from all the work he did for Jesus. May God bless all of you and keep you in His care, now and always, as you trust in Him to carry you through this difficult time.
C.D.
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A prayer for Kirk’s family~
Dear Lord and Father, we are saddened by the death of Kirk at such a young age. But, YOU, Lord, know all about him and his family. We ask that YOU provide for Kirk’s family in a very special way. Give them YOUR strength and uplifing. Help them to feel YOUR love and wisdom in the days ahead. Thank YOU Lord, for loving them all in such a special way. We look to YOU, Lord, for all furture plans. Thank YOU, Jesus. Amen and amen.
E.W. – Transfer, Pa.
Thank you folks for your daily thoughts. They mean so much to so many of us.
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Dear Kelly –
I am so sorry to hear of Kirk’s sudden death. May you be surrounded with family and friends who will support and comfort you in this grief. I know the Lord Jesus will carry you and your children through. What a lovely testimony he has left behind and he will share in all the rewards that will be reaped because of his important part in This Day’s Thoughts ministry. God bless you and your children.
In Christian love and sympathy,
E.M.
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry for your loss. I am keeping you & your family in my prayers. Cling tight to Jesus. He knows the way. A friend in Christ
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Dear Mrs Kelly,
Perhaps you are asking you why? Kirk was still young, but one thing I know that through his help he has been a blessing to me .The messages i get through message@thisdaysthought.org helps me to ponder on the reflexion of the experience of other christian and to adjust my life.His ministry is a new adptation of Rom 10:14.I thank & praise the Lord for his ministry, for I am very far away on an island named Republic of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean near Malagasy.
Take care and I know you are in HIS CARE AS YOUR FATHER HE SAID I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU
IN HIS LOVE
D.
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God bless you and your family during this time of bereavement. Hold onto the unchanging hand of God. May he comfort you and your children.
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Dear Greg,
So sad to die so young. I’m sure that Kirk will be enjoying the peace of heaven right now – may he be truley blessed for the self sacrifices he has made. I pray that God will bless his wife and young family with peace also, a peace that only God can give – to have the full assurity that all will be well.
A.
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Dearest Sister Kelly
My deepest condolences to you on your loss. May the Lord be your comfort
this moment forth, because God is ever faithful to His Word… The Lord is
my shepherd, I shall not be in want (Psalm 23). I trust our Lord to watch
over you and your little ones, as you keep your heart ever so close to Him.
God’s love continues to flow …
Jesus Reigns forever…
J. – Singapore
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Very sorry to hear that. It was such a wonderful service and it was so nice of him to have helped us all who were getting benefitted by his service.
I’m from India.
I’m sure, the Lord Himself will now fill Kirk’s place in your family for the yomen service he had been doing to spread the Kingdom of God…
My sincere prayers and deep condolences.
J.P. C.
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Dear Greg,
I haven’t read my message for few days. I am sorry about the passing away of Kirk. I am thankful to God for his ministry through your program and would love to extend my sympathy to the family. May God comfort the family and continue to guide and bless them.
I would like to praise and thank God for the entire team for such a wonderful ministry. May God continue to richly bless your ministry.
Thanks and love in Christ
H.
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Dear Kelly,
I am so saddened by your loss – and the loss of a good man, husband & father from all I hear. I know it will be difficult to even think of raising your children alone. I’m taking your name down and will be praying for you through the vast adjustments in your life. When you are able to finally count all your blessings after the shock of this terrible news, be thankful that your children have had a father that surely was teaching them about God’s ways. So many fathers are here in body only. There will be wonderful memories of your sweet Kirk – eventually you will remember each one – write them down for your children. They will want to know EVERYTHING. May God be with you now & may you always feel His presence. We are “family” – and I love you and am SO sorry for your great loss.
In Christian love,
M.V. – Katy, TX
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Dear Kelly,
Please know that This Day’s Thoughts in prayer are for you and the family.
I know what it is like to lose a loved one suddenly, and so may our wonderful Lord and Saviour hold you up with His everlasting arms!
P.R.A. – Denton, Kansas
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It’s quite disturbing to loose such a dear one as Kirk. My prayer is that God will grant the family
left behind the fortitude to bear this loss. Thank God that it is a human loss. So long as we have not lost hope in Christ we are guarranteed of safety, pleasure, salvation, love, protection and security from the world’s insecurities. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace with the
Lord our saviour.
S.O.
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Kelly, the times now may have you asking why. Would you also ask What next? with hope?? My prayers are for you and your family.
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Oh Kelly I am so very sorry. This is such a loss to us all, but none as great as your loss. May God hold you and your family tenderly to His heart. May He bless you and keep you.
He will always be remembered. Every morning as I go go to This Day’s Thought you will be in my prayers.
Love
P.
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Dear Kelly,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It sounds that your husband was a true humble servant of Christ. I know it does not replace his presence here but you can rest in the thought that he is today in Glory with Jesus. May God comfort and bless your family.
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Kelly,
So sorry to hear about the sudden death of your husband Kirk. May his soul rest in peace.
You will be remembered in my prayers. Just continue to have faith in God and he will help you through it all.
He will always be there for you, when you need him.
A Friend,
E.
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In the five years I’ve been in pastoral ministry, I have been so
blessed by the work you do! It has been an asset to say the least. I have enjoyed the “Thought for the Day” for myself, but especially to use as a bulletin insert. I am deeply saddened to hear of this loss of Kirk. Please express to his wife my sympathy and my commitment to keep her and her family lifted in prayer during this most trying time. At 37 years old there is nothing we can say that can help to make sense of his death. While I know this, and believe this I am led to this scripture; not so much for comfort as for reinforcing our trust and faith in God as our creator AND sustainer. Romans 8:28 simply states that, “We know that ALL things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” May God truly sustain you, Kelly, and give you strength and peace both to you and your children. I believe if you lean on Him he will indeed support you.
In God’s Grace,
C.B.
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Kelly and family,
You are in my prayers and I’m am deeply sorry for your sudden loss. Kirk played a very important part in this ministry and spreading the Good News of God’s Word to many people around the world. Take strength and comfort from Our Father, and know that Kirk is in His Glorious Kingdom.
K.T. – Blythe, CA
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Dear Kelly,
My prayers are for you, with you, and of with your family. There are no words…just heartfelt love for you.
Your sister in Christ…
B.W.
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My sincere condolences to Kirk’s family. I will keep Kirk and his family in my prayers. I appreciate the thoughts of This Days Thought. I have not been able to support you financially because I am unemployed right now and can barely make ends meet. Please keep me in your prayers as I will also keep you in mine.
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Dear Kelly, we are very sorry for your loss, may our Lord cradle you in the palm of His hand as the days and years go by.
May He help you find comfort and peace for your loss. Become a “Creative Survivor”. Take steps to relieve your loneliness by
listening to gospel music, and reading books on grief. Children and pets help with this also. Allow others to help you
carry some of the heavy pain which you are feeling.
Most important, rely on your faith; walking with our Lord through your grief will deepen your faith. Remember that you
are an internal part of God’s plan and you are precious to Him beyond measure.
Our prayers are with you.
N. and J.Q.
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Kelly,
You and your family are in our prayers, you have our deepest sympathy in the loss of you husband and the wonderful father of your children.
I look forward to reading every day this day’s thought. They are wonderful and so comforting.
Again our sympathy to you and your family.
J. and J.O. – Palmer, Ne
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kelly im praying for you the lord had a better place for kirk take care love
k.
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Dear Greg:
I wish to express my deep appreciation for daily devotions,
they have been most thought provoking. So sorry to hear
of Kirk’s sudden death. Please convey our deepest
sympathies to the family.
May God abundantly bless as you continue this valued ministry.
Sincere regards
R.
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Kelly,
Your precious husband is with the Lord now. I know you wanted him here longer, but we don’t know why these things happen, but God knows. My prayers are with you and your family, may you rest in the Lord. Find peace to know that Kirk is at peace with the Lord.
God Bless,
T.
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So sorry to hear of Kirk’s death. I lost my husband at age 38. My prayers are with the family at this time.
D
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Kelley,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your famil. May GOD’s stength be with you over these next few months.
N. and A.
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Dear Kelly and your family
This ministry has touched me in Johannesburg, South Africa through the amazing advent of technology.
Your husband was so instrumental in getting the message to the nations and for this we are so very grateful.
In your time of extreme sadness, Kelly, know that our prayers and thoughts are with you and, more than anything else, Our Lord is close to the broken hearted and is taking that pain upon Himself. He is faithful, Kelly and will not allow you to suffer more than you are able. Cast your cares on Him and He will sustain you.
We continue to hold you up in prayer and pray that you and yours will be upheld by the Everlasting Wings.
My love
M.P.
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Kelly,
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that you and your family will be in my prayers. Remember, God is near…He loves you and will provide for you and your needs.
In His grip,
L.S. – LaGrange, GA
And the peace of God…..Philipians 4:7
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Dear Kelly and Family,
There are no words that can address the great sorrow in your hearts. Knowing Kirk has ascended to heaven is but some consolation and I pray that God’s love and peace will fill your hearts and your home in the days ahead, that you will find His comfort and strength through all the pain.
God Bless you all and I give thanks for Kirk,
Love in Christ,
N.M.
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my dear kelly,
my heart and prayers go out to you and your precious family! i’m crying as i write this, because i understand and know the shock and pain of loss too. we have had to go through a hard time, losing a son, 26 yrs old, a few yrs ago. you do get used to it, and i want to tell you that you will STILL experience the love of your dear husband in so many ways, now and always. he is NOT dead, only absent in body. his spirit is now eternal, with the Lord, and still very much alive ~ but also even more present with you than when he was on earth. the love you shared with him will never be gone, for as promised by our Lord, LOVE never ends! it will keep you!!!
we also have a daughter who is 37, named k. we’ll never understand some things, but i am asking the Lord to tenderly and securely hold you closely in His arms and give you peace. He will take care of you and keep you, and i pray your hearts will mend quickly and be made strong. i just wanted to tell you what a blessing ‘this day’s thought’ has been to me, and it’s the first thing i look for in my email. your husband was truly used by the Lord to so many…i will continue praying for you…
love, because of Jesus…..
d.r.
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DEAR KELLY,
So sorry for your loss. Your husband was doing God’s work and will be enjoying His glory now. I hope you and your children only the best.
S.L.
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Dear Kelly
So sorry to hear of Kirk’s passing away. Please accept my condolences to you and your young family. I pray for God’s peace for all of you.
Regards in Christ
M.
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Thank God for a man like your husband. I find comfort in reading ‘This Day’s Thought’ while at work. May your spirits be lifted in this time of celebration. For we all know that there is a better place waiting for us if we trust and live in His word.
My deepest sympathy,
M.Y.
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Please give our condolences to Kirk’s family. What a ministry he has had to us all.
J. and S.S.
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My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family….I love you because you are one of God’s children….He will provide and never give you mroe than you can handle…I am so certain that your husband’s life was a testimony of Christ and even in death, he will continue to touch hearts and brighten lives…..
K. (c: ><Jesus>
1Chronicles 28:9
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Kelly,
I am very sorry for your loss. I have said a prayer for you and your family.
“May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you TRUST in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the POWER of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
In Him,
C.
“This Day’s Thought” Subscriber
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Dear Kelly and family
I deepest and sincere condolences to you and your family during this time of bereavement. I pray to God that He will strengthen you and be with you.Remember, His strength is perfect when ours are gone and that He is a strong tower.
Be asssured that your husband has been a blessing to Todays thought and he has contributed in enriching our lives as well.
From your sister in Christ
S.
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Mrs. Kelly, my deepest sympathy..
I am one of the thousands subscriber of this inspiring internet ministry…I don’t know of your husband personally not until “This Day’s Thought” mention about him today…but I am really saddened by the news….I realize that God used your husband as one of the instruments for Him to reach out for lost souls and spread the Good News of salvation..I know that this is a great loss not only for the ministry but as well as to you and your family..But the good news is that your husband has victoriously come home to where he really belong, his Father’s and our Fathers’ kingdom in heaven..And sooner or later, we will all be seeing and joining your husband in praises to God in our home in heaven..
God Bless us All.
B.J.
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Kelly,
I am one of the subscriber’s for this day’s thought/verse. I want you to know that my prayers are with you. We serve a wonderful God.
Isaiah 12:2 ‘Surely God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid.’
My family and I will continue to be praying for you in this most difficult time.
DJ.H.
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Kelly,
I’m so sorry for the loss of your husband Kirk, and I’m keeping you and your family in prayer. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and you can rest assured that Kirk is rejoicing in the victory of being present with our Lord. May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.
He is…my tower of safety, my deliverer. He stands before me as a shield, and I take refuge in Him. He subdues the nations under me. Psalm 144:2
Jesus is your tower of strength and safety.
With Love,
T.M. – Hyattsville, MD
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Dear Kelly,
I am so sorry to hear about Kirk leaving this world and going on to heaven. His ministry was such an encouragement and I know God will encourage and strengthen you like kirk’s ministry has encouraged me.
May God be especially close to you,
B.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
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Dear Kelly:
I would like to take this time to send you all prayers that there are available to give! We are truly sorry for the loss of Kirk. He was truly a blessing to this internet ministry that keeps giving and giving each day. This ministry that Kirk has been a part of has allowed God’s word to be spread throughout the world. For those who receive it on the internet such as I, I pass it on to many people so that they too can know and see the goodness of God!
I am praying for you and your family. May God keep you in His loving arms. May he provide you with all the comfort and strength that you need and desire during this time!
God Bless You!
S.G.
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Hi Greg,
I am so sorry to hear about Kirk’s passing and have prayed for his family. May the Lord comfort them with His presence and the reassurance that He will never leave them or forsake them. My own father died at the young age of 42. As I look back now, I can see His faithfulness through the years and trust the same for this young family.
God bless you,
M.A.
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Kelly,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family .
God bless you!
P.N.
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Dear Kelly,
I just heard of your loss. How sad your heart must be. Of course I did not know your husband personally but I am one of many that has been touched by his generosity and his love for our Lord and Savior. Kelly I lost my husband when I was 25 (1985) years old – We had a young son of 7. At that time I was not walking with our Lord – I was lost in my grief and struggled day by day. I’m comforted to know that you are obviously a child of His. In His word, he promises to keep us and hold us when we go through troubled times. Take comfort in know that our Lord is with you and he will hold you close to him during your time of grief.
It’s hard to imagine, at this point, but time truly does lesson our sorrow and God directs or path to strength in him.
God Bless you Kelly.
Your sister in Christ –
T.M.
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Dear Kelly,
I am deeply sorry about your loss. Even though I did not know your husband I am sure he was a great man because his work on this awesome ministry says it all. I will keep you and your family lifted up and I pray that God will send his abundance of comfort and peace into you and your family’s spirit.
D.G.
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Dear Kelly:
I thank God for the life of Kirk, be sure he is resting with Jesús at this moment and for the eternity.
I live in Mexico and I have been blessed with the service of This Days Tought, and Kirk was a blessing for me in this distant Country.
May God give you strength and faith in these difficult moments.
Sincerely,
S.D. – Coatzacoalcos, Ver. México
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Dear Kelly,
I am sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I pray that God will be with you and the family.
Have hope, and remember the Bible says in Revelations, Blessed are those who die in Christ, they will be remembered for their good works.
I have learned and been encouraged from this Daysthought ever since.
God Be with You.
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Dear Kelly,
You do not know me, however, I could not let this day go by without expressing my sympathy. I will pray for you today…that God’s strong arms will hold you tight and you will feel His strength and His presence throughout these most difficult days.
“This Day’s Thought” has been used by God so many times in my own personal life! I sure do appreciate every moment of work that Kirk put in to keep these thoughts coming to us…to me! I have posted them on my office door and others have read and hopefully been blessed or spoken to by God as they read them. Thanks for sharing Kirk so that he could be a blessing to others…by allowing God to use his talents!
May God bless you in a special way TODAY!
Sincerely with Christian love,
J.P – The Salvation Army
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Please let Kelly know how much we appreciate Kirks contributions towards this web page. Because of his help he has helped me. Thank you Kirk. My thoughts are with the family.
D.E.
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Kelly,
I would like to express my deepest sympathy to you and your family in the loss of your husband, Kirk. As a subscriber to “This Day’s Thought, Verse, Devotion..” I have been richly blessed by receiving these each day. The work that your husband did, will continue to reap a bountiful harvest for God. May God bless, comfort and give you peace during this time. My prayers are with you.
Blessings,
H.D. – (subscriber)
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Hello Kelly,
I am a Director of Early Childhood Ministry; my responsibility is with infants through kindergarten. Since the note says you have a young family, this resource might be helpful to your children at some point: So Much to Think About: When Someone You Care About Has Died. It is available through Family Communications, 412.687.2990. It was developed by Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I have titles of books that I could suggest that may be helpful to your children, too.
The loss of anyone so young seems misplaced in the scheme and order we expect in life. No words can comfort really. I speak from experience. Our son, 24 years old, was killed in a car accident March 18, 2004. My faith and my friends have helped me to this point, 4 months later. I pray that both are there for you as well. You have my sincere sympathy and prayers. I am sorry that this burden of grief is now one that you must carry. I also extend my sympathy to your husband’s parents.
Sincerely, D.
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Please extend my deepest condolences to Kelly and their family. Thank you.
Sincerely,
M.S.
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Dear Kelly and family,
How sad it is for you to have lost your husband so early, in your, his and your children’s lives. I am a firm believer in the fact that “God has a plan for each one of us”. I believe He is now telling you that he has another plan for you. I am certain that you will be strong enough to rise to the occasion when the time is right.
I will pray that you find the courage to go on until your new reason for being is clear to you. I was really touched when I read the page from “This Days Thought”. I was unable to respond Immediately and I can’t imagine how you must have reacted. I sincerely wish you a very good life. That new direction God has for you will help you continue to grow as a human being and a great mother. May your children be blessed with the LOVE of a great MOM. It takes time to start over, but it is possible to enjoy the wait.
Amen.
Sincerely wishing you a beautiful life.
D.M. – Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada
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To Kelly, I pray that in addition to all the other things you must be feeling now, you are able to feel the closeness of God and his loving touch. I pray that in time he will reveal all the answers, and if He chooses not too, that He will make you OK with His Will. Thank you for sharing your husband and his gifts with This Days Thought.org.
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I just wanted the family to know that they are in my prayers. I will tell everyone I know to pray for them also. God Bless…
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May God rest Kirks soul’s in eternal peace.
My heart goes to his Family at this tiime of bereavement.
G.W.
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Hello,
It’s so sad that we lost one of us so soon, i felt so bad and held my head shed some tears after reading the sorrowful mail. May God grant his family the ability to bear the loss of a wonderful guy, who was using his ability to make sure the light of the ministry keeps burning, may God forgive his sins.
I also symphatise with everybody who were close to him. May we always remember his good work. And emulate his fine example.
God Bless Each and Every One.
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Dear Kelly and Family,
May the Lord bless you and hold you in his holy arms! amen. My name is L.W., I am a faithful reader of The Thought of the Day. Wanted to let you know how much I as well as my co-workers and friends have been blessed by your husband’s ministry. We are truly sorry for what had happen, but rejoycing in our hearts for Kirk is with our Father!!! Alelujha. I bet our Lord told him….”Job well done, son”. Kelly and Family, we’ll keep you in our prayers, that our merciful Father will bring peace and comfort to your hearts in such times as this. We love you and thank you for the support you gave your husband through his ministry. May blessings come your way and your friendship with Jesus our Saviour, grow closer. amen.
Love you in Christ,
L. and Co-workers
(University of Arizona)
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Kelly:
My heart aches for you at this time for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine how you must be feeling. Your greatest comfort right now must knowing that he is in the arm of our Lord at this time. He is wearing a crown with many jewels, one for each of the thousands he has reached through his ministry. The Lord only give us what we can bear and he must have some awesome plans for you now at this time. Continue to gain strength in Him and know there are thousands of people around the world who are out there praying for you and your family. God Bless you all.
In Christ
M.A. – Bemus Point, NY
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I am so sorry and extend condolences to his family, he sounds like he was a wonderful kind man. I enjoy This Days Thought very much as it contains only a few, yet very powerful, words. I can read it quickly and go on with my days work. Thank you.
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Dear Kelly,
I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers and with you and your family. This Days Thought has been a blessing to me and keeps me going when times are tough. God Bless.
L.
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Kelly and family:
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We can never know why things like this happen as they do but over the years I have developed some thoughts which have helped me when I have lost someone. Now that I am in my fifties some of my friends and family are beginning to take that long journey home. However, the ones that I remember the most fondly and closest to my heart are the ones who departed at such an young age. Maybe it is because of the suddenness of their departure and all of the “what ifs” that go along with an early death…..but the young and younger people are the ones I remember most fondly. I hope there will be times when you will feel Kirk’s loving arms surrounding you and in your family in the days and years ahead. My dad has been gone for twenty years and there are times when I am sure his presence is around me. I believe that love knows no bounds if we continue to hold our loved ones in our hearts.
M.W.
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hi kelly,
calvary greetings in Jesus name.
a time like this is when your faith in God is tested.
lean on Him and He’ll give you the grace to scale thru.
He’s our Father and He won’t leave you to go thru this alone.
and remember that the Lord gives and He takes away.
in all things we shd give Him thanks ,it not easy but His grace is sufficient for you.
God will see you thru in Jesus name.Amen.
best regards,
a.
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Dear Kelly,
My name is B.G. and I have been a subscriber to This Days Thought and This Days Verse for about a year now. I cannot tell you how many mornings I have come into work feeling down or anxious about what the day would hold only to read that days verse and have it give me total comfort. My office is filled with Thougts or Verses that have touched me which I print out and leave around my desk for encouragement. This ministry has been an amazing blessing to me and I have Kirk to thank for that. I am so very sorry to hear of his passing. I hope that you know how your husband helped share God’s word with others. I am confident in the Lord that he will cover you with his grace and bless your family as Kirk has been a blessing to so many. May God bless you and give you peace.
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Dear Kelly,
My heart goes out to you. This Day’s Thought is one of the first e-mails I look at each day and it has truly been a blessing to me. I have printed out many of them to keep and have also forwarded some to friends.
I know God will keep you in His care.
Love,
S.H.
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Dear Kelly and family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and in this time of trial keep your faith with the Lord who is everloving.
With love,
The S. Family, Stanwick, Northamptonshire, England.
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Kelly–
Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Sincerely–
The members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Roselle, IL
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Dear Kelly, Although we have not met nor will probably get the chance I felt that I wanted to write and say I’m very sorry for your loss. I can only hope that the power of the prayers that surround you are protecting your heart and mind. I came to “ This day’s thought” by chance and from the day I began to read it, it left a mark on my heart and life. The power of the simple, yet incredibly powerful messages has touched my heart and life and given me the power and strength to lead my life. I am relatively renewed in my faith and the efforts of Kirk have made a real difference and I thank you and him.
I realize I can’t say much else but thank you and I hope and pray that your children will be able to see the good that Kirk brought to the world and that he made a difference in the lives that he touched. I hope you are safe in God’s care and that your life will slowly begin to take a new shape that will allow you to carry on Kirks efforts and make an additional mark in the world.
Many thanks and my thoughts will remain with you,
C.S.
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To Whom It May Concern,
I would like to send this to the wife of the person you had described in your last e-mail. I want you to know how much I appreciate the ministry that your husband was a part of and that I’m sorry about your families recent misfortune. I know that the this days thoughts has truly blessed me. Many times the little readings have spoke to my heart or the situation I needed some wisdom or insight given to. Thanks to your husband part in this he could enable Gods life to be brought forth. I trust God will strengthen and comfort you in this season of your life.
G.F.
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Dear Kelly,
I felt such pain for you when I read this… I had to write. My first thought was “Why?” Why would our gracious Lord allow this to happen? Only He understands His greater plans for our world, and only He can use such a hard blow to you and your family for good in this world. Perhaps He needed Kirk to further His glorious plans in Heaven. In any case, please hold on to these thoughts… First of all, I know you know that this life is just a quick blink in all Eternity. Before you know it, Kirk will be there welcoming you to spend all Eternity with him and our Lord someday. I pray that you feel our Lord’s comforting arms around you and your children right now… that you realize that He knows your sacrifice and feels your pain. He is the Father of the fatherless… and He loves you all the more as you suffer the pain of loss. May God hold you tight and surround you with the support of family and friends. Don’t lose faith… He does care.
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Dear Kelly,
I have been out of town and just got this message today. Please know that my prayers and those of my family are with you and yours. The ministry of This Days Thought has been very powerful in my life, and thanks to your husband, has reached many, many people. His life has touched lives far and wide, and will continue to do so. As you can see, I use the “thoughts” as signatures to my emails, and I know others use them in many ways. This is in large part due to the love your husband had for the Lord. You know he has gone straight from this life to his next one, where he waits for you — where you will worship your King together forever. I grieve with you in your loss in this life.
In His Service,
M. C. – Linden, NC
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Sin has four characteristics: self-sufficiency instead of faith, self-will instead of submission, self-seeking instead of benevolence, self-righteousness instead of humility.
E.P.H.
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please express my sympathies for their loss and tell them that they will be in my prayers
Shannon
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You know,
I cannot claim that I know you or that I even knew Kirk, but for some reason, I feel heart broken with you right now.
I have seen enough tragedies and unexplained events happen that I will not even try to give any expanation or try to make you feel better by something I say. No one but the man of sorrows; the one experienced with greif can hold your heart together. He is the one who can look you straight in the eye and say ” I know exactly how you feel” and you will know, he absolutely means it. In him alone you can find the consolation in the time that you need it.
G.A.
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Dear Kelly,
A friend of mine has been forwarding This Day s Thoughts since June 29 of this year along with some devotionals. I mentioned to him that of all the mails he forwards to me, I enjoy receiving This Day s Thoughts the most. There is one specific thought of the day that really grabbed my attention and which motivated me to compile these thoughts as inspirational quotes. Do not shelter the mirror which reflects your soul’s lack of beauty; rather welcome the truth, and believe that next to the knowledge of God nothing is so precious as the knowledge of self . Jean Grou. I understand that your husband offered the use of his technical equipment, which was been very significant in the success of this cyber ministry (and I do consider it a ministry for the simple fact that these thoughts have ministered to my heart and have often prompted me to consider the important things in life which are encompassed in our lord and Savior Jesus Christ). Through his contribution to this ministry, his life has been a blessing to me because I ve been encouraged, motivated, and one time when I was going astray in my heart, I received right direction for my thought pattern through the favorite thought I mentioned above.
I am very sorry to hear of your husband’s passing and your loss. To be quite honest, I ve never really considered the people behind the ministry until I got the message of Kirk s sudden passing. Now I realize the importance of their work, and I feel a sense of loss too. Your husband has been a blessing to a stranger far away.
I am a twenty five year old young woman from Belize City in Belize, Central America. I am a believer and my life is wrapped up in Jesus Christ. He has brought new meaning to my life and I just want to continue living in and through Him.
May God continue to bless you and keep you in this time of bereavement. And I encourage you to trust Him when He says to you, all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. He loves you, and I appreciate you and your husband.
Thanks, G.S.
A grateful recipient of This Day s Thoughts
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Dear Kelly:
I am sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. Though I didn’t know him personally, his ministry has been a blessing to me many times via the internet. May God surround you and your family and be especially close to you during this time of loss and transition.
In Christ, T.S. – Pastor, New Community Fellowship
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Dear Kelly,
Words can’t express my heartfelt sorrow for you and your family’s loss. About the only non-personal mail I get that I don’t immediately delete is this days thought. So even though you and your family has never met me and probably will never lay eyes on me I have been richly blessed through your husband’s help with this ministry. PS. I have fairly severe clinical depression and it has really helped me keep a perspective when I’m having a hard time with it. God bless you and keep you and may he especially cause his face to shine down upon you and your family now and always.
P.
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I am so sorry to hear about Kirk….Kelly, my prayers are with you. I cannot imagine what you’re going through, but God will take you through it.
D.
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I have only just opened this email, and with much pain I bear for Kathy and her family.
My heart goes out to Kathy and her family right now. May our Father in Heaven wrap his arms around you Kathy and the children, reassuring you that Kirk has come home where he will wait for you until such time our Father brings you and the family home. John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you”.
Revelation 21:4 ” God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
I am praying for you and your family.
A.
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I really look forward to reading this day’s Thought and Verse. Its sad to hear of Kirk’s death.
To Kelly: God only gives unto us what we can manage and in our weaker days and most sorrowful moments he carries us. He is a strong tower, so lean on Him. I am sure Saint Kirk will always be with you. I’ll remember you in my prayers.
J. from Jamaica
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Kelly,
The Holy Spirit will comfort you and yours. Jesus Christ is on the throne forever and cares for you more that you can ever imagine. The Lord will never leave nor forsake you. Hold on to Jesus Christ and surely the victory is users.
regards,
E.
*
Dear Kelly,
I would like to start by offering my deepest condolences. I cannot fathom what you may be going through right now. All I can offer you is to remind you to find your strength in Him. I wanted to thank you for your husband’s work. His technical assistance that allowed the Thought / Verse of the Day to continue has been such a blessing to me. Kirk has helped me by continually allowing me to be challenged to think about what is around me and to be observant to my world. It has also been an accessory to my ministry, as certain thoughts or verses remind me of friends and their struggles, lives and personalities. I can’t tell you how appreciative people are to get a personalized message, even is it is just simply forwarded to them, knowing that is was with them in mind. I will pray for you, and thank you for Kirk’s influence.
-M.

A Tribute To Kirk N. Albrecht

This website is dedicated to Kirk Albrecht, a good friend, computer guru and our partner in ministry. Sadly, Kirk died of a heart attack at the age of 36 on July 14th, 2004.

Below is a letter I wrote to his family and friends a few days after his passing from this life to the next. I’ve also included links at the end to letters from readers to his wife, Kelly, plus an update from Kelly on the 10th anniversary of his passing.

—————-

July 20, 2004

Kirk Albrecht and Eric Elder

Kirk Albrecht (top) and Eric Elder in 1998 installing the first computer to run The Ranch website

To the family and friends of Kirk Albrecht,

I couldn’t believe it when Kelly called to say that Kirk had died. He’s been such a permanent fixture in our lives over the years, I couldn’t imagine him being gone. Like you, I’ve spent the past few days crying, praying and reflecting on what his life has meant to me and to many others. In losing Kirk, I’ve lost my good friend, my best technical support, and my partner in ministry.

I’ve created dozens of websites over the years and many people look to me as their webmaster. But when I’ve needed technical help, I’ve always looked to Kirk. He was a webmaster’s webmaster.

The things he taught me helped me to create an Internet ministry that reaches thousands of people a month from all over the world with the message of Christ. Many times I was ready to “throw in the towel” on hosting my own websites, but Kirk would come and give me a hand and give me a smile and tell me to keep going. He was confident we would get things going again, and he was always right.

Kirk came to my rescue many times, driving from Morton to wherever my equipment was located and spending hours and hours solving a problem. One particular scene stands out in my mind.

We were in the basement of an office building in Macomb. It was about 4 in the morning after we’d worked all day trying to recover from a computer virus that struck my server. When we had finally gotten over the bulk of the problem, Kirk showed me what to do next and laid down on the concrete floor to take a break. He only got about 15 minutes of a catnap before we had to do more, but as I worked away and watched him finally getting some rest, I couldn’t help but be thankful for a man that would spend an all-nighter with me working on a computer, with no thought of compensation, with no expectation of anything in return, but simply to help out a friend. As much as I miss him now, I like to think that he’s finally getting some real rest and finally getting all of the rewards that he piled up in heaven while he was here on earth.

One of the ministries that benefitted from those all-nighters and everything else Kirk did is called This Day’s Thought. When I told my friend Greg who runs “This Day’s Thought” what had happened to Kirk, he asked if it would be OK to send out a note to his 10,000 subscribers about Kirk’s passing so that his subscribers could say thanks and pray for Kirk’s family.

Within minutes of sending out the announcement, notes began pouring in from around the world. I’ve collected them here as a tribute to a man who worked behind-the-scenes to make a difference in the lives of so many – including mine.

With much love,
Eric Elder

Click Here To Read The Letters Fom Readers

Click Here To Read An Update From Kelly Albrecht, 10 Years Later

News From The Ranch – November 2003

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Watch Videos from the “Week of Hope” Online

Week of Hope Banner

You can watch videos of the Week of Hope online at weekofhope.com.

Watch “Week Of Hope” Videos Online

Thank you to everyone who prayed for and was involved with our “Week of Hope” here in Streator, Illinois (USA).  Your prayers and efforts made it a tremendous success.

You can now watch the videos of all the testimonies, dramas, videos, music and messages on the Internet anytime!  Just go to www.weekofhope.com and click “Watch Videos.”

(It’s all great, but if you wanted to just watch a portion, I’d suggest watching the last 20-30 minutes of the Sunday night program.  Start with “I Can Only Imagine,” then watch my message, followed by Rick Jepsen’s testimony and the final invitation.)

I also wanted to share just a few of the results with you.  We had an average attendance of 340 people each night, with a total of 1,350 in attendance over the course of the four nights.

Since our goal for the event was to encourage people to put their faith in Christ for everything in their life, I was really excited to see that:

  • 323 people indicated on their comment cards that even though they were already believers in Christ, they were putting their faith in Him for a particular situation in their life.
  • 6 people indicated they were believing in Christ for the very first time.
  • 9 people indicated that they hadn’t yet made a decision, but were seriously considering putting their faith in Christ.
  • We had a total of 336 people who indicated that their level of faith in Christ had increased or at least stayed the same as a result of the event.

I truly believe that when we can increase people’s willingness to put their faith in Christ, all kinds of things can happen.  Jesus said,

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20b, NIV)

Thanks again for your prayers and I hope you enjoy watching the event as well.  I just heard from someone in California who was watching it at midnight and wrote:

“I’ve been watching the ‘Week of Hope.’  I feel like I’m there. Great job. God is smiling.”

Again, to watch any of the event, just go to www.weekofhope.com and click “Watch Videos.”

Please Pray With Us

Father, we thank You for increasing the faith of the people in Streator through the “Week of Hope.”

We pray that You would continue this work now via the Internet to increase the faith of people all over the world.

And finally we pray that more people will find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thanks again!
Eric Elder

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

News From The Ranch – October 2003

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Time for a Week of Hope, new board members, and more new music with the “Sweet Dreams” CD.

Streator Water Tower

Please pray for the city of Streator, where we are just days away from launching the Week of Hope, a city-wide outreach to be held at 7 pm nightly on October 9, 10,11 and 12th at the Streator High School Auditorium.

Week Of Hope

I just heard a woman say,

“I can’t wait for the Week of Hope. I just get excited every time I think about it. I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do.”

I can’t wait either! I’ve been planning this event for more than a year along with more than a dozen churches and a hundred people working behind the scenes.

The focal point for the Week of Hope is 4 nights of special services to be held at the Streator High School Auditorium over Columbus Day Weekend. Each night we’re featuring powerful stories of people right here in Streator, Illinois whose lives have been changed by Jesus Christ. We’ll also have music, drama and videos to make the night both entertaining and life-changing. I’ll be speaking each night, giving an invitation for others to put their hope in Christ as well.

We’re praying that God would use the Week of Hope to let His Spirit flow throughout Streator like water from a water tower.

In fact, there’s a water tower near my house and it’s HUGE. Water flows through it into underground pipes all over the city. Whenever someone wants to take a drink, or water their lawn, or clean their clothes, they just turn on the faucet and the water flows.

We pray that the Week of Hope will do the same thing for those who are spiritually thirsty, who want to grow, or who want to clean up their lives. The Bible says we really can be “washed” by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul lists a variety of sins in his letter to the Corinthians. But then he adds:

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthian 6:11, NIV).

Better Than Reality TV

One of the benefits of planning this event is that I get to taste the fruit even before the harvest begins. I met this week with ten of the people who will be sharing their testimonies during the Week of Hope. It was a moving time, even though we were “just rehearsing.” Tears flowed as person after person told about what Christ had done in their lives.

One woman showed the scars on her wrists where she tried to commit suicide several years ago. It brought tears to my eyes to think about the spiritual impact she’s had on our community since that time…when she could have just as easily been dead. What a loss had she not put her hope in Christ.

Another couple told how their lives were shattered when one of their sons was born severely mentally retarded. Their first response was to shake their fists at God. But then a pastor helped them understand that God cried along with them. As a result, they put their hope in Christ, went into ministry, and now several of their other children are also in full-time ministry. Who knows how many multiple lives have been touched as a result of their putting their hope in Christ.

This is better than reality TV. These are real lives…with real change. You can read these stories of hope for yourself at the Week of Hope website: www.weekofhope.com.

Body-Lifting Music

I was also able to sit in on a few of the music rehearsals for the Week of Hope a few nights ago. As I listened, I could hardly keep my hands down! It felt like there was an invisible force pushing my hands up in praise to God. I was taking some pictures to put in the newspaper and finally just stopped and let my hands go up!

My friend Kent Sanders has organized four different worship teams to lead worship each night, made up of the many talented musicians in town. It’s hard to be surrounded by the sounds of drums and congas, flutes and cellos, guitars, pianos, keyboards, violins (not to mention the soothing breath of the human voice) and not be lifted up. It lifts my body as well as my soul.

As you can tell, I’m fairly immersed in the Week of Hope and the Spirit’s already beginning to flow. I’m telling you all of this for three reasons:

1) Please pray for the Week of Hope, that God will use it to send His Spirit throughout Streator and, through the videos we hope to put on the Internet afterward, throughout the world.

2) Please come to the Week of Hope! For some of you, that might be a short drive. For others of you, I know it’s half-way around the world! But if you’re able to come, I hope you’ll make it for at least one night if not all four.

3) Please visit the Week of Hope website if you need a boost in your own faith. You can read the testimonies there already, and if you’ll visit it again later in October, we plan to have the video online of the event itself.

(For those who want to stay for the weekend, we have a couple of hotels in town: Super 8 at 815-672-0080 or Town & Country Inn at 815-672-3183. Again, the Week of Hope starts at 7 pm nightly on October 9, 10, 11 and 12.)

New Board Members

I also wanted to let you know that we’ve just added some new board members to our ministry. I believe their input will help us to grow our ministry in many ways and make The Ranch website much more dynamic in the future. Those joining me on the board include:

  • Brent Knapton, Director of an international missions organization in Texas;
  • Steve Knight, Senior Editor in the Internet Department of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in North Carolina;
  • Al Lowry, Founder of Guitarists Into God (GIG), a music ministry at Saddleback Church in California, and
  • Dan Mountney, Video Director at Kensington Community Church in Michigan.

I’m thankful for these men who are making a difference in their own ministries, and are willing to feed into our ministry as well. Please pray that God will use our combined efforts to reach even more people with the message of Christ.

Please Pray With Us

Father, we thank You:

  • for still changing lives every day;
  • for bringing people and churches together in Streator to create the Week of Hope;
  • and for bringing new board members to direct this ministry.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for many to be washed by Your Spirit during the Week of Hope;
  • for new growth in this ministry through the new board members;
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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.

News From The Ranch – June 2003

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

A new “What God Says” CD, invitation to the “Week of Hope” in Streator, and offer to visit you if you live in the US.

If you need an encouraging word from the Lord, you’ll enjoy listening to this collection of “What God Says” about various topics, read by Lana to some beautiful music. You can listen anytime here on The Ranch, or request the CD at The Ranch Giftshop.

If you need an encouraging word from the Lord, you’ll enjoy listening to this collection of “What God Says” about various topics, read by Lana to some beautiful music. You can listen anytime here on The Ranch, or request the CD at The Ranch Giftshop.

What God Says

We’ve recently put all six of Lana’s pocket-sized CD’s onto one full-sized CD so you can listen to over 30 minutes of encouragement from God’s Word anytime. We continue to get comments from people who listen to them on the web and on CD like these:

“I wake up to them and go to sleep by them each night. Your wife’s voice is very soothing and does not obstruct the message.”

Our hope is that by combining all of the individual CD’s into one collection they will be even more convenient and helpful to people who need encouragement. The CD contains some of the most encouraging verses from the Bible about “What God Says” about Prayer, Healing, Missions, Ministry, Temptation and Fear. The scriptures on this full-sized CD are read by Lana Elder and accompanied by original music from Eric Elder, Chuck Giacinto, Brent Mitchell and Kent Sanders.

You can listen to the complete tracks on The Ranch website by clicking on “Listen to Music” You can also request a copy of the full CD for yourself or for a gift atThe Ranch Giftshop.

Keep Praying!

I’ve just been reading one of the most encouraging lines found in scripture.It comes just after Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife. Genesis 25:21 says:

“The Lord answered his prayer…”

I love that God not only hears our prayers, but answers them, too. I think we often get discouraged in praying because we’re not sure if our prayers really make a difference. But throughout the Bible, we read about people who prayed and about God who answered their prayers.

Here’s another great line that follows a prayer said by Manasseh:

“And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.” (2 Chronicles 33:13).

The Lord not only listened to Manasseh’s prayers, but was moved by them. This is even more amazing to me when I read that Manasseh was no saint. He had seriously sinned against God and lead others to do the same. But when he turned from his sins, humbled himself and cried out to God, God was moved and answered his prayers.

Our prayers do make a difference. God does hear them…and is moved by them. Keep praying! And when you see the answers, you will know “that the LORD is God.”

Week of Hope

I mentioned in my last newsletter that I’m leading an event this fall here in Streator called the “Week of Hope.” I was surprised to hear later from people as far away as Africa who wanted to come!

I thought I’d take a minute to specifically invite you to join us, too. October is a beautiful time in Illinois and the fall leaves should be at their peak during the event!

The “Week of Hope” is sponsored by more than a dozen churches in town, so there is no cost to you to attend the event itself. We have two inexpensive hotels in town to make your stay very affordable (Super 8 at 815-672-0080 or Town & County Inn at 815-672-3183).

We’ll be meeting at the Streator High Auditorium at 7pm each night for four nights from October 9-12th (Columbus Day Weekend). You’re welcome to join us for one, two, three or all four nights! I’ll be speaking each night on the topic of the hope we can have in Christ, and we’ll have great music and powerful testimonies each night of how Jesus Christ can change lives.

You can find out more at the “Week of Hope” website, complete with videos and a radio interview that describes the event. Take a look at: www.weekofhope.com.

On the Road

I’m going to be traveling around the US the next several months, giving people an update on our ministry and inviting them to join us as one of our regular financial supporters of our ministry.

I thought this would also be a good time to meet with some of you, many of whom I’ve only met so far over the Internet. If you’d be interested in a personal visit, I’d be glad to meet with you! Aside from raising support for our ministry, I hope it will give me a chance to encourage you in your faith as well. I’d be glad to meet in your home, or share my testimony with your church or small group, or even lead a few worship songs on the piano if you’d like!

Someone has graciously offered to help with my travel expenses for these trips, so there would be no cost to you if I’m already heading your way. I’d just need to know if you’d be interested in having me stop by. I’m still working on my travel schedule, so if you would be interested in a visit, just let me know!

Online Training for Online Evangelists

A few months ago I was able to get a preview of a new online training course for people interested in sharing their faith over the Internet. The course is now complete and I’d highly recommend it to anyone of any age reading this newsletter. The course is designed “to help believers effectively share Jesus with other people who are online. This includes people encountered via e-mail, chat rooms, discussion boards, Instant Messaging, and every web page. …”

It’s self-paced and there’s no cost, except the time you put into it. To go through the course, visit: www.webevangelism.org/otoe

While I’m recommending websites, I’ve been enjoying watching a series of video messages from Bill Hybels called “28 Days of Telling the Truth.” You might enjoy it, too, at: willowcreek.com

Please Pray With Us

In case you missed our email announcement, thank you for your prayers for the birth of our 6th little baby, Kaleo Breese Elder. She’s now 3 months old and doing great. You can still look at her webpage (complete with Brady Bunch music) at ericelder.com/kaleo.

By the way, my 75Mhz laptop is finally on its last legs. If anyone has something with a little more power that they’d be willing to donate, it would be a blessing! We’re also on the lookout for 5 to 10 PC’s that we could use for doing some computer training. If you know of someone or a company who might be able to donate such equipment, please let us know!

Father, we thank You:

  • for the birth of Kaleo Breese;
  • for encouraging us through Your Word;
  • and for hearing our prayers and answering them;

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for hearts to be prepared for the upcoming “Week of Hope;”
  • for Your direction in our travel plans;
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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.

News From The Ranch – February 2003

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Year-end statistics, new music on The Ranch, and an upcoming live event in Illinois.

Eden, by Marilyn Byrnes

We’ve added some new piano music to the website to encourage you in your quiet time with the Lord. It contains a collection of classical and inspirational songs that I helped my sister record, including a song I wrote especially for her to play called “Marilyn’s Theme.”

Dear Friends,

We’re just days away now from the birth of our 6th child (at least we think we’re days away…Lana’s due on Feb. 26th, but she’s always been early so far). We’d appreciate your prayers for Lana and the baby and our whole family this month. (Those may sound like routine prayers, but for anyone who’s been involved in the birth process, you know those prayers are precious!)

We’ve included a picture of our family here that we’d love for you to print out and use as a reminder to pray for us and our ministry (even though it will be quickly outdated!) We appreciate that many of you have written to let us know that you do pray for us. We’d love if you would put this prayer card on your refrigerator or in your office or tuck it in your Bible…anywhere that you might see it regularly and remember to pray. We’ve listed some prayers at the end of this letter that you can cut out and keep near the picture if you’d like some ideas of what we need prayer for.

Eric Elder Family 2003

Eric Elder Family 2003

Knowing that many of you have prayed for us this past year, we also thought you might like to see a glimpse of how your prayers were answered. I’ve posted on our website some excerpts from a number of “thank you” notes we received this past year from people who visited The Ranch. While many of these are addressed to me and Lana, their notes of thanks extend directly to you as well, for without your prayers and support, we wouldn’t be able to reach out the way we do. I hope that as you read through these notes, you’ll be able to read them as personal notes of thanks to you as well for your prayers for this ministry. You’ll find them by clicking Quick Stats and Notes of Thanks.

I especially like to see notes that come from people who visit The Ranch needing a boost in their faith, and leave having gotten it, like this note from Louisiana:

“We’ve been facing some severe financial struggles recently and while our faith is deeper than ever, and we know we are tucked safely under the Lord’s wing, your site – the music – helped release a few of my hidden fears that seem tucked behind the nooks and crannies of my soul. I arrived feeling spent, but leave feeling refreshed.”

Although I can’t print all of the notes here, I hope you’ll read through the excerpts on the website to know that God is still in the life-changing business. I’ve also included along with the notes a few quick stats from last year, like these:

  • Total visitors during 2002: 85,000+
  • Total visitors over 5 years: 200,000+
  • Average number of visitors per day: 250+
  • Number of countries visitors come from: 150+
  • Number of emails requesting prayer and encouragement: 485
  • Longest email received: 5,231 words
  • Shortest email received: 1 word (Help!)

To read more, visit: Quick Stats and Notes of Thanks.

New Music

For those of you who like piano music and would like to spend some quiet time with God, we’ve just added a new full-length CD to the website that I helped my sister record called “Eden.” If you’ve heard her Christmas music on our site, you already know that she’s a gifted pianist and her music is both calming and inspiring. This new CD features a natural combination of classical and relaxing music, such as Für Elise, Clair de Lune, On Eagle’s Wings and Brahm’s Lullaby. It also features a song I wrote especially for her to play called Marilyn’s Theme.

You’re welcome to listen to this music on the website anytime you want, as often as you want, as our gift to you. If you’d like a copy for your home, or car, or for a friend, just visit The Ranch Giftshop. While you can listen to the music on the site free of charge, we do ask for a suggested donation for the CD’s as a way to help our ministry reach out to more people. Click this link to Listen to Eden.

Real Lives, Real Change

We’ve also posted some new testimonies on the website: one from a man named Peter from England who was scarred for life as an infant when his house caught on fire. His life went from bad to worse until Christ reached down and gave him a new life. The other is from a woman named Vicki who suffered from severe abuse and eventually mental illness until she finally “challenged God to prove himself.” He did, and now she’s free of the pain and torment she suffered for years (just like the man that Christ set free in Mark Chapter 5). You can read these true-life stories (and more) by clicking their links above or visiting Stories At The Ranch.

I believe that testimonies like these are so valuable for encouraging people to put their faith in Christ that we’re planning a live event this fall here in Streator, Illinois, to showcase testimonies of people in this area whose lives have also been touched by Jesus. In my role as President of the Streator Ministerial Association, we’re coordinating this multi-day event as a city-wide outreach sponsored by the cooperating churches in town.

I’d appreciate your prayers as we attempt to reach out to thousands of people in the area by showing them that Jesus Christ still changes lives today. I can’t describe what an incredible burden I feel in leading this event, as well as the incredible opportunity I see before us to touch countless people. Please pray for me, for the churches involved in the planning, and for those who will be touched by Christ Himself. If you could stop and pray for a minute even before reading on, I’d really appreciate it (and so will those whose lives will be changed by your prayers. If you want to see it in person, come on over! We’re a couple hours drive southwest of Chicago. The planned dates are October 9-12th.)

Take Heart

As a final encouragement, I want to remind you of a phrase that I find repeatedly in scripture:

“GOD IS WITH YOU.”

These words were spoken to Abraham (Genesis 21:22), Saul (1 Samuel 10:7), David (1 Chronicle 17:2), Solomon (1 Chronicle 28:20), groups of people (Zechariah 8:23), cities (Zephaniah 3:17), and whole countries (Isaiah 45:15). As David said these words to Solomon, I want to say them to you:

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.”

Call on the name of Jesus and you can be sure that GOD WILL INDEED BE WITH YOU, TOO.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for growing our family;
  • for growing our ministry;
  • and for growing the number of friends we’ve met in Your name.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for Your protection on our family;
  • for Your guidance for our ministry;
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

We ask this all in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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.

Quick Stats And Notes Of Thanks – 2002

A collection of statistics and short excerpts of thanks from emails from 2002.

Monthly Visitors to The Ranch

Quick Stats

Visitor Information:

  • Total visitors during 2002: 85,000+
  • Total visitors over 5 years: 200,000+
  • Average number of visitors per day: 265
  • Average length of time a visitors spends on The Ranch: 13 minutes, 21 seconds
  • Number of countries visitors come from: 150+
  • Number of CD’s mailed out during 2002: 175
  • Emails received requesting prayer or biblical advice: 485 emails from 262 people.
  • Gender breakdown for emails: 40% male; 60% female

Top 10 issues from email correspondents:

  • Relationships with others (marriage, divorce, boyfriends/girlfriends) (48 people – 18% of total)
  • Health (physical, emotional, mental) (33 – 13%)
  • Sexuality (temptation, pornography, homosexuality) (33 – 13%)
  • Ministry (personal, professional) (30 – 11%)
  • Finances (money, job, career) (20 – 8%)
  • Relationship with God (wanting to grow in their love, faith, or knowledge of Him) 18 – 7%)
  • Salvation (for themselves, for others) (13 – 5%)
  • Anger (toward God, church, or others) (13 – 5%)
  • Depression (12 – 4%)
  • Other (schoolwork, court cases, direction, etc.) (42 – 16%)

More Stats:

  • Number of volunteers who help us answer emails: 20 (10 regular; 10 occasional)
  • Percentage of people who wrote back to us a second time: 34%
  • Percentage who wrote back 3-5 times: 6%
  • Percentage who wrote back more than 5 times: 2%
  • Longest email received: 5,231 words!
  • Shortest email received: 1 word (Help!)

Notes Of Thanks

1/1/02 – Thanks for seeing me through all my past…I really appreciate all your encouragement…bye for now, S.P. / CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
1/1/02 – A wonderful site Pastor Elder, I will recommend it to everyone I know. T.M. / GRANVILLE, ILLINOIS
1/1/02 – I also wanted to tell you how great things are going with me and my pastor. We are really developing a great friendship…I overheard him tell his wife the other day that I was his best friend! Can you believe that??? You really discerned that one well. I’m so glad I told him…and I probably would not have done that if you had not prodded me along. Thanks for your advice and thanks for being my friend. A.
1/3/02 – Brother, Truly touched to see what God did in you and now through you. May our heavenly Father continue to bless you, Lana, your children and the ministry He has entrusted to you. Shalom, J.T. / SEAFORD, NEW YORK
1/4/02 – Your testimony is a blessing from God! V.H.
1/5/02 – Praise the Lord! Your site is so wonderful…thanks so much for blessing me and the millions of people who stop by! I love the music and my favorite song is “Clear My Mind.” I would love to add a link to your website on my websites. S.L.
1/6/02 – Dear Mr. Elder: Thank you so much for your website! It has been such a blessing to me. The Lord really touched me while I was listening to your “Clear My Mind” CD. I really appreciate your ministry and pray the Lord will continue to bless it and you. S.S. / SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND
1/7/02 – Eric, Thanks for the return email. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your accountability, prayers, and guidance. Thanks again for your support, encouragement, and walking with me through the fire. C.
1/9/02 – Thank you for this unique website. In His love, D.M.
1/11/02 – Thank you and God bless you and your family and the wonderful work you are doing for Him! Your brother in Christ, P.A. / PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
1/11/02 – Hi Eric, You wrote an AWESOME essay (on human cloning)!! I especially loved the very compassionate close. Way to go! Your follow-up questions were so good I put them on our website because I thought other people would benefit from it. S.B. / PROBE MINISTRIES / DALLAS, TEXAS
1/12/02 – I love your site. God bless you. L.L. / WACO, TEXAS
1/18/02 – I love this website so much! 🙂 It’s great. I enjoyed the music a lot! Most websites don’t provide the complete tracks of the CDs, but you guys provided many options to the listeners. Keep it up! L.L. / STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA
1/19/02 – Thanks very much for taking the time to put together this website!! May God Bless. C.J. / INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI
1/21/02 – Great Site! I have added your site to my Personal Homepage. God Bless. L.R. / TENNESSEE
1/24/02 – Keep up the great work. Have a great and Godly Day! Love and Prayers, C.A. / KELLER, TEXAS
2/2/02 – I thank God for giving you this vision and realising it. The messages have especially uplifted me in my spiritual wilderness. Thanks. I have been greatly ministered by this web-site and will introduce it to my friends! =) T.V. / SINGAPORE
2/5/02 – The first time I saw your site while surfing, I was highly impressed and will like to meet you personally during my forthcoming visit to the U.S. Pls. give me full details of how I can meet you during the period. Looking forward to hearing from you very soon. God bless. A.O. / LAGOS, NIGERIA
2/7/02 – It is very good. M.E. / IRAN
2/7/02 – Dear Eric: I read your testimony on the net. It was very nicely written. Thanks, D.S.
2/11/02 – Eric, I enjoyed your ministry very much. It was exactly what I was looking for. I was looking for a little boost in my faith, and thank God I found it thru you. I would like to give my individual thanks for your fine web pages of encouragement. I can only imagine all the long hard hours of work you put in it. It really shows. Again, Eric, thanks and may God bless you and all your helpers. J.K. / CARMI, ILLINOIS
2/13/02 – Dear Eric and Lana: Thank you for your prayers and interest in B. She is doing so much better. We wish you well in your ministry and believe that it will reach hurting people who would not go to a conventional church. J.B.
2/15/02 – What a blessing from God I have had today from reading some of your question and answer sections, and listening to some music and scripture selections! It is helping me to continue to hear the Lord on a huge Web site project ministry He has embarked me on. I feel as if I am to promote your Web site ministry on my Web sites. I will be in touch with you about this in a couple of month’s time. Blessings to all of you. All praise and glory to Christ Jesus! D.S. / OTTAWA, CANADA
2/17/02 – I really enjoy your web sight. It’s the best one out there so far that I’ve found. Thanks for taking the time for creating this awesome and powerful tool for God. S. / BURLINGTON, IOWA
2/19/02 – Erik, I didn’t expect you to respond again; I’m sure you have a lot of other things to do, but thank you. D.S.
2/19/02 – I just still can’t understand why people believe in god. I don’t and I live a regular but happy life! L.X. / LEUVEN, BELGIUM
2/19/02 – Very peaceful, and spiritually uplifting. Loved the music on the “Clear My Mind.” God Bless You! J.S. / HARTFORD, WI
2/19/02 – Dear Eric Elder, Greetings, Thanks for your kind words for me and my ministry. God bless you and your ministry. With best regards, Yours in Christ, T.I. / PAKISTAN
2/21/02 – Thank You for a wonderful site & newsletters. M.W. / AURORA, COLORADO
2/22/02 – This is the most wonderful web-site the Lord has brought me too! Many many blessings, K.Y. / NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
2/22/02 – A good and well ordered site. Thanks to God for many people who patronizes his mighty name. J.S. / CAM SURE, PHILIPPINES
2/28/02 – Thanks for just being there. Thanks for your prayers. D.L.
3/1/02 – Hello Eric! I’m approaching the first anniversary of my salvation with a still deeper joy and a much stronger faith. Thank you for your prayers and for your practical aid in helping me with those first steps with our Savior! One of the reasons I’m writing this letter is also to share with you how the Lord has helped me – in serving Him. I guess it was last September when I first sent you the URL of the start-up website of our church: www.matejs.lv. The good news is that thanks to God’s help the site is now up and running and fully functional for more than 4 months already. No doubt, it was largely my own special story of conversion that motivated me to take up this ministry. I’m praying that God would continue to bless your ministry and that many more would trade their sins for forgiveness and find their way to Christ through your work! What’s most important, by now we know of at least two people who have come to our church and accepted Jesus through the direct help of this web-site. And they will soon both join the church in baptism. (Man, “What a chain reaction!” you must be thinking! :)) Yes, God works in unbelievable ways! Many more have told that the site has been a blessing to them and has served as a refuge from the haste and violence that fills the secular media. A.S. / RIGA, LATVIA
3/11/02 – Dearest brother Eric, Christian greetings. Thank you very much for your great love and blessed prayer for me. I cannot tell you in words how much happy I am. My heart is really full of Joy and love to have such brother who can pray for me and ministry we have here. Prayer is really a powerful tool in ministry. That is prayer who is encouraging us to continue the Great Commission. Your sincere prayer is very valuable asset for me and I hope you will continue to pray for me. God bless you and family and especially the wonderful ministry you have for the glory of God. Your brother, P. / PAKISTAN
3/12/02 – Thank you. M.
3/17/02 – It is a pleasure for me to write this mail to you. May the all mighty GOD bless YOU. E.H. / CAMEROON, AFRICA
3/21/02 – Glad I found this sight. I hope to be emailing you often. But for now I am very happy that the Lord directed me to you. Seems as though I have much to say – don’t know where to begin and afraid to hope. Just glad you and your wife are there for us. C.B. / SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
3/26/02 – The stories in here are so spiritually healing for me. I want to thank you all for this site. L.L. / COALGATE, OKLAHOMA
4/3/02 – Thank you for your music and all your ministry sites – they have been more than a blessing! Thanks again. You’re a great man of God, Eric. HIS Love and gentleness and kindness is sent out in you. Blessings to you and your family, D.S. / SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS
4/5/02 – I have just come across your website while looking for an article on friendship for an assignment. It seems God desired to speak to me through the words of wisdom found on this website. R.R.
4/13/02 – Dear Eric and Lana. Thank you for all the times which you encouraged us through your internet ministry and emails. Although we had sad times, God sustained us by His grace. By God’s faithfulness, we have now a healthy boy who was born on the 21st of March. Praise the Lord! Thank you Eric and Lana. If you ever drop by Singapore, do let us know. In Christ, J. & L. / SINGAPORE
4/18/02 – Thank you for such a quick response!! I will pass this along. Love, K.N. / GRIDLEY, ILLINOIS
4/19/02 – Hello Eric, I am an 18 year old female. I live in Amman – Jordan. I am Christian and I am proud I am. I was going through the web the other day looking for cool songs to download when I found the ranch site. I was deeply touched by this site and especially by your story! I cried, but my tears where tears of happiness for I felt happy for your happy ending! Being a teenager, you know how sometimes life becomes kind of hard for us to live in. Sometimes I forget to pray to my Lord Jesus Christ, and many times I’ve committed a lot of sins, but deep down I knew that I was wrong so I used to go back and pray. But I used to repeat the sins, but today after going through the site and reading stories, and yours especially, I felt different! I felt that this time due to my faith in Jesus I am becoming some one different. I really felt that Jesus has touched my heart by your story. I wanna be a real CHRISTIAN and thanks to this site, your GREAT MUSIC and your story, I am now. I can feel it and U CAN’T IMAGINE HOW HAPPY I AM ! I FEEL COMPLETLY DIFFERENT. I want u to pray for me, to become a better person so I could spread the love of Jesus to everyone I know just like u. 🙂 Thank You Very Much for changing my life for the BEST. 🙂 Z.M. / AMMAN, JORDAN
4/21/02 – Just a quick “Thank you” for sharing your beautiful gifts and I thank God for giving them to you. My daughter and I are enjoying your exquisite music on “Clear My Mind”. B.L. / FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
4/19/02 – Eric, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, and thank you again! I can’t tell you what a difference you’re making in our lives right now. You are truly a vessel here as well. Thank you so much for being willing to put yourself so completely in the middle of something that isn’t even your fight and to show such love and compassion to two people you really barely know. Thank you to Lana too for her obvious understanding in what you do to help others, and thanks and praise to God for his amazing love and power!!!! Your filling in, words of encouragement, and scriptural reminders. They are like life blood to me right now, almost like I am a new Christian in the midst of all that is happening around me. Even though I’ve never liked the term, in many ways, perhaps I am being “reborn” through this experience, wherever the outcome leads me. My viewpoint and terminology right now is that I’ve had my own personal epiphany. And because I want my heart and mind to continually be in the right place to deal with this, whatever may happen, I’m turning to God more now than I ever have in my life. I will never be able to repay you for what you’ve already done. I’ll keep on saying it: Thank you. L. / WHEATON, ILLINOIS
4/27/02 – Eric, your emails are really encouraging bro. God is really using you to be a light for me in this time of grayness. Please do keep writing. My most fervent prayer for blessings, B.M.
4/29/02 – It’s only GOD Himself that can reward you on your calling that you have taken with passion. Today was my first time of visiting this ministry’s site, I must confess that I’m inspired by your good work. F.A. / LAGOS, NIGERIA
5/1/02 – I had looked at your site a few times before, but this evening, after enduring a VERY long and trying day, I logged on to my computer and went to your site and really received a blessing when I listened to your talk about “rest.” Thanks for all you do to spread God’s word and to encourage others in the faith. You are a blessing. C.B. / STREATOR, ILLINOIS
5/4/02 – Thank you. T.B.
5/7/02 – I really love your wonderful site. I have learned many new things and would like to thank you for giving me that experience. C. / JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA
5/10/02 – This Ministry is so challenging, inspired and worth calling me to join it from here in Uganda. Read Philemon 21. Yours, D.L. / KAMPALA, UGANDA
5/12/02 – Thank you for the piano music. Very encouraging and comforting to me. T.N. / SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
5/12/02 – Eric, thanks a lot for your care. I shall never forget that I’ve been saved by your Website when I visited it by chance on that terrible night. It helped me a lot. I’m grateful to you & Lana for such simple, lovely & soothing broadcasts of both of you. I’m also so grateful to you when you e-mailed me with your sound & caring notes. I really needed them so badly at that time when I felt inside me that I’m a rejected woman. I really feel I owe you. I wish I can repay you one day. Be sure I never forget “Good Deeds”. God Bless you & your sweet family. M. / CAIRO EGYPT
5/15/02 – VERY GOOD SITE. A. / AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
5/15/02 – Very inspirational reading material through the anointing of the Holy Ghost. It is highly commendable and I am sure the Lord will bless you abundantly. God bless you C.S. / ATLANTA, GEORGIA
5/18/02 – I very much enjoy your music. Thank you for your generosity. Your Brother in Christ, R.D. / CLARKS SUMMIT, PENNSYLVANIA
5/19/02 – I just “fell” on your site – I do not know how. But your work is an inspiration to me. God is doing a good thing through you. I really appreciate the “relaxing” tone and the focus on His word. We are desperate for God ‘s word and at times hardly know it. Thank you again. L.B. / CANTON, MICHIGAN
5/20/02 – May the Good Lord richly bless your ministry. J.A. / AMMAN, JORDAN
5/22/02 – Very nice website in its simple elegance. Lots to see and do, none of the bothersome intense graphics that slow down page loading (Flash animations, etc) and an obviously dedicated Christian making it all work. Well done! M.M. / COOS BAY, OREGON
5/23/02 – I loved your site y’all.. Absolutely was wonderful and I feel your site had a wonderful message of faith and love for God without being strange or over the edge or pushy. Thank you for touching my heart. C.S. / FORT WORTH, TEXAS
5/25/02 – Your ministry is wonderful!!! M.D. / LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
5/27/02 – God bless you. this is also a child of god who is also in love with him completely and that is a beautiful story and yes I believe that god can do anything. You are a very blessed man don’t you ever for get that. It’s good to know that our brothers and sisters in Christ are doing God’s will over the Internet and people are getting blessed and being saved, hearing the miracles of what our father Jesus Christ is doing. You and your Family have a Blessed Day… A.S. / NEW LONDON
6/2/02 – Dear Eric and Lana, I just got done listening to your broadcast “It’s Never to Late”. It was very encouraging to me. C. / HOUSTON, TEXAS
6/8/02 – Dear Brother Eric, Greetings from Japan in the Name of our Lord; We are so moved and encouraged through your prayer. We are so thankful that you have shown much understanding for our home. We are sure our Lord showed you our hardness. We will pin up your words of prayer on the wall of our home. You are one of our real brothers. God bless you! With much thanks and love, M.F. / MIE-KEN, JAPAN
6/11/02 – Mr. Elder, I am 15 and live in New Mexico. I was looking online for a song called “Sanctuary.” I stumbled upon your song. I listened to the MIDI version that you had, following along on the sheet music…it was amazing. I printed it out, and started playing it that night. Now, after a few weeks I still play it, and play it. It is an amazing song. I am going to play it at my brother’s wedding if that’s cool, and I’m hoping that my friend will learn it on the guitar to sing and play it with me. Thank you for writing such an amazing song. I truly have a new definition of a sanctuary now. God bless, I.M. / ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
6/11/02 – Hello Erick, I greet you in the name of JESUS CHRIST my name is T.A. from a country called kenya in Africa. I actually visited your website and I was so encouraged and helped since am a strong Christian it really assisted me and for your sure I will be visiting the website always. May GOD bless you as you continue seeking HIS word. T.A. / MOBASA, KENYA
6/11/02 – Really enjoyed your site and layout! God Bless! B.F. / SALISBURY, MARYLAND
6/18/02 – Dear Eric: Do you offer the music score for your music? I would love to purchase a copy if this is Available. If it is not available, please consider making it. I’m only mediocre at playing but I love the style God has put into your playing. Thanks for your ministry. In His Service, B.M. / SIMPSONVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA
6/19/02 – What I nice site! I was a little in the dumps this a.m. and just typed “someone to talk to” into a search engine, expecting nothing, and found your site. Just wanted to say, thanks. God is using your ministry in a good way. C.C.
6/26/02 – I am child of God and i visit your website and I was very interested. Thank for your idea and may God bless you and help you. C.Y. / DOULA, CAMEROON
7/1/02 – Hello Mr. Eric!!!! I’am a eighteen year old boy from Austria and so I said sorry for spelling mistakes that I made. Please take note :-)). Now my question!!! By random in search of notes for playing keyboard, I found your homepage. I searched that and found your own written songs. I was enthused about your songs and wish that I can learn to play that. “Moment by Moment” was that song which relish me best. Now I want know if it was possibly that you can send me the notes for this or also for other songs. That was a big wish from me!!!! Thanks a lot!!!!! J.F. / AUSTRIA
7/2/02 – Me and my wife and children were lifted up with joy in our hearts that cannot be uttered reading your positive letter response I printed it and show it to them. Thank you for your very nice and encouraging response and praise the lord for the prayers I know that the Prayers of a righteous man availeth, How we are very honored to correspond with you we also wish you to come and share to us the gospel personally for you to see our works here in the Philippines. R.A. / DAVAO CITY, PHILIPPINES
7/4/02 – Thank you very much for your encouragements. Now my life is getting better. I have come back to church as before. God is Good. At least I know one more new friend like you who encourage me in God’s way. You are a good friend. Thanks. In Him P.K / THAILAND
7/5/02 – Hi, I just finished listening to your talk on God’s Love, it spoke to me deeply. I want him to be in the number one slot, and I pray that I can make that change. If all I knew intellectually could just become true heart knowledge. Thanks for listening, well reading. J.B.
7/6/02 – This is a beautiful idea and website. God bless. A.C. / WINTERHAVEN, FLORIDA
7/6/02 – For the past two days I have not surfed the net for porn or anything destructive. I have however surfed the net for sermons and have had relative peace after listening to them. So my friend, I am trying to change. In the last eight months however, I have cut down on all destructive activities by about 80%! I felt so close to God the other evening that I shouted to myself, “I can do anything!” and I really praised God for his grace. It is tough however to survive at times. Surely you must understand that? My next step is to start to venture out into the real world again and maybe start to go to a church. I shall surf your site and listen to more sermons. Sincerely, T.R. / ENGLAND
7/11/02 – Greetings to you in the awesome name of Jesus. I want to really thank you for the words that God used you to place on your website. I was really going through a tough time and after I read it, I must tell you that the presence of God came in my office at work and it just blessed me so. I am a single mother who is sold out to God but had some shakes with my faith in this last trial. I know they come just to make us strong. But it is a blessing when you can read something on a website and God will step in and reverse your thinking. I pray that whatever your hands touch that God will grant you nothing but favor and increase your ministry. May god bless you and keep you in perfect peace. I thank God for you again. H.S. / DALLAS, TEXAS
7/11/02 – Thanks for your e-mail. I know that you will take me to the high point in spiritual situation. bye-bye, yours in Christ, D.K.
7/12/02 – I just wanted to take a moment and say “Thank You” Thank you for helping me to find the peace and strength I needed. I was looking for lyrics to a song, when somehow I wound up on your site. Somehow, what a funny phrase, I know exactly how I got here. I was led. The peace, and the answers I got from just listening to the music, and reading the literature…was just what I needed. I felt confusion, as to why I had no answers…did God put me on hold? I feel so much better now, I know I am not alone, I know the answers were there, I just was so caught up in the situation I didn’t see… Thank you for opening my eyes, clearing my mind so the word could get through, and putting peace back into my heart. God Bless all of you, and Thank you again, Sincerely, W.D.
7/15/02 – I find it challenging and refreshing to see someone openly admit their relationship to Christ on the internet. D.
7/15/02 – Hi Eric, thanks for the reply. It’s always such an encouragement to get emails from you. W.W. / COTATI, CALIFORNIA
7/15/02 – Dear Eric! Thank you so much for writing back to me…..And the most is your PRAYER. I’m sure God will bless and is pleased with your work for helping your brother like me. May God bless you, your family and your ministry…. Thanks! T.N.
7/15/02 – Can you please send me a brochure about your ranch? G.O. / LITTLETON, COLORADO
7/21/02 – Thanks for your noble service. I am a students’ counselor of this university. Your newsletter will be of a great help to us. Thanking you, M.A. / TAMILNADU, INDIA
7/27/02 – The “What God Says” CD’s are so pretty and I like hearing them. D.D. / LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
7/31/02 – Hello Eric, God bless you. I was listening to “Grasping the Love of God” and it really spoke to me. I will be leading worship at my church this Sunday morning and I found the message useful. I think they need to be reminded of God’s love…especially in this renewal meeting. Thanks, C.Y. / PENANG, MALAYSIA
8/1/02 – Just found site. Read/listened to one message. Love the way it presents the truth of scripture in a manner that makes it very accessible. T.D. / MINEVILLE, NEW YORK
8/7/02 – Dear Eric, I want to sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and for your kind and thoughtful reply to my letter. Your words of comfort could not have come at a more appropriate time, because this has been an extremely difficult day for me. I have alternately prayed and cried much of the day. Thank you for your suggestion on the study bible. I was just recently trying to think if I had a bible or not. I don’t think I do. I don’t have much extra time at present but I will get the bible you suggest and read at least page a day. Thank you so very much for your concern and suggestions, Eric, I almost feel like you’re an old friend. When I first contacted you I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, I even briefly, but not too seriously, considered suicide, but as of this minute I’m ok. and I have no doubt that you played a prominent role in my partial recovery. Hopefully, I will have a full recovery in a couple of months, or so. Thanks again and God be with you. F.
8/10/02 – Dear Eric Elder, Greetings to you in the name if our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today I was searching on Internet for “God with Internet.” Fortunately, I saw your site. What a tremendous lovely thing you are doing for Jesus Christ. S. / SINGAPORE
8/10/02 – really nice….thanks. much needed in this time of hurry and worry… K.L. / GREAT FALLS, MONTANA
8/11/02 – I find your site very refreshing and have placed it in my favorites. Visiting this site leaves me with a feeling of renewal. Thanks. C.N. / EASTMAN, GEORGIA
8/15/02 – I am amazed how God can speak to us through so many different ways. He has spoken to me through the Bible. Many times I have heard him speaking to me through books, church services, friends. But now I discovered he can also use these modern means of communication to make us listen to him. This time He reached me he in Brazil, in the huge city of Sao Paulo through the Internet. I am a Language teacher and I like to prepare classes using my PC. I was feeling sad and confused about many things that are happening in my life. I thought maybe music would help me cheer up. But none of my CDs seemed to comfort me. I prayed and then I had the idea of checking on the web for a site with inspirational music that I could listen online. I praise the Lord that I discovered The Ranch. I listened to the music “Clear My Mind” and while I was listening, I felt the presence of God and his peace. Then I started checking all the links and I was tremendously blessed by each one of them. I loved the message by Lana about the “Prayer Closet.” I have tried many times to have a prayer place – it always failed. I am going to try my closet too! It is a great idea! It might work! God bless your ministry. Love in Christ, R.A. / SAN PAULO, BRAZIL
8/19/02 – I was looking up some things tonight on-line about Greenland (out of curiosity) when I stumbled across your web-page. I just love your web-page, it touched my heard deeply – Thank You!! K.S. / CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS
8/19/02- Hi, it’s been awhile since I have written. I was going through some very rough times… I laid out all of my problems to your staff, and to God. During these past 25 years I did not attend church, nor had an interest. I met a wonderful person in the chat room one day [and was led to the Lord that day]. It’s now been just over a year…and I am overjoyed, and crying as I type this. To bring you up to date. I now attend church on a regular basis since November. I attend Church on Sundays, along with Sunday school. I also attend Wednesday night. Just these past 10 week, I have been working with the Vacation Bible School, and enjoying every bit of it. The Pastor of our church now sets time aside for our family one time a week, and does private bible lessons with my daughter who is 12. It great worshiping the Lord. I still cry in church, but it’s a different type of cry now. Its a cry for the answered prayers, and the faith that the Lord has for us. My life, and my older daughter life has change. Changed for the good. All of the Music my daughters and I listen to now is Christian. It’s been so encouraging and uplifting. I would be overjoyed to chat with [the woman in the chat room] again, and Thank her, and her Husband for all that they did for me. M. / BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS
8/20/02 – LUV IT (the music ) D.T. / FARMERSVILLE, CALIFORNIA
8/20/02 – Dear Elder: Thank you for your immediate reply. Your letter is encouraging and I am determined to make an effort to improve my marriage. D. / CHINA
8/31/02 – This was such a blessing for me thank you and please pray for me that God will show me a way out until next time . God Bless. T.L.
9/2/02 – Hi, Eric. Thanks for your personal response and for your prayers. You touched me once again. Your website is really lovely. It’s such quality and such a gentle approach that radiates authenticity. J.I.
9/3/02 – When you spoke at my church a year or so ago I was interested in your web-site but did not have a computer. Well, I now have one and so I checked it out. It is wonderful, but somehow I knew it would be. Keep up the good work. Hope that you can return sometime in the future. God Bless you, your family and your ministry. L.P. / STREATOR, ILLINOIS
9/3/02 – Dear Elder Eric, I am so much blessed by what the Lord is enabling you to do over there thanks for the newsletter, also I am blessed by the kind of prayer you have offered to me. Yes I know more now that the LORD will accomplish the good work He began in me, God bless you so much. P.B. / UGANDA
9/5/02 – Hello Eric, Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my e-mail. There’s not a lot of people I have been able to talk to about this that has not been hurt. So I thank you for taking the time to care and most of all listen as I spill my heart out. I know and I see the light at the end of this tunnel, and thru the power of the Holy spirit working in me will reach the end. Keep up the great work and remember we are all ambassadors of the Lord, and you never know whose life you will touch thru your calling in life, whether thru this web site or thru your music. Until next time, may God richly bless you and your family with divine protection and we will be praying for you also for Lana and baby!!! Thanks again, T.B.
9/6/02 – Hello, I had visited your site after seeing a positive comment about it on someone’s personal web page. I was very impressed! A wondrous ministry! I look forward to coming to your site to get a fill up now and then and do appreciate all your work for the Lord through your Internet ministry. May you be greatly and wondrously blessed with all gifts from God to His children both as individually and as a ministry. More importantly may God encourage you with evidence of your fruits of labor. Love and Hugs in Jesus, T.C.
9/9/02 – I’ve just come across this site and already I feel really blessed. Fantastic. Can I use some of the teaching you present in our church? Regards, A blessed man after coming across the ranch, P.G. / HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND
9/10/02 – Reading this webpage filled my heart. W.H. / ELIZABETH CITY, NORTH CAROLINA
9/15/02 – Fantastic web ministry. Will forward the address to my friends. M.C. / RABUN GAP, GEORGIA
9/20/02 – Dear Eric, I visited your site today and was pleased to be there. Sincere regards, E.O. / DELTA STATE, NIGERIA
9/23/02 – Thank you so much for your comforting words. I appreciate your prayers more than you know. L.G. / SELMER, TENNESSEE
10/13/02 – great site – greetings from Vienna! G. / VIENNA, AUSTRIA
10/18/02 – Hello and God bless! I was just checking out your web page. Praise the Lord. There needs to be more web pages as good as this one. Do you really live on a ranch? Just curious. Would love to hear back from you. M.T.
10/28/02 – Dear Brethren-in-Christ, Isn’t God great? This morning I was asking Him WHY I have not been able to find anywhere “on the net” (is that the right phrase?) of Christian websites where I could find that special God-kind of comfort which I so desperately need. God told me to go to Eric Elder Ministries and He assured me that, following the links, I’d find His answer to my question. Those of us who have been called by God to minister (at home, overseas, wherever) also need to be ministered to from time to time. Many of us become “fragile” – like me this morning. Please give my greetings to Brother Eric Elder. May our gracious & Almighty God bless you all. R.B. / DUBBO, AUSTRALIA.
10/29/02 – Great site. Thank you for honoring God and His Son. Halleluyah! P.M. / OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS
11/5/02 – Hello! This is a very beautiful place you have here on the ranch. How much is it? And what time of the year is this beautiful place available? Will this beautiful ranch be available in January? May the Lord keep you and bless everything that you do. M.P.
11/11/02 – cool site, great and inspired idea. K.G. / ANDOVER, MASSACHUSSETTS
11/19/02 – Hi Eric and Lana, I have recently visited your site, and enjoyed all I had time to read and pray. Thank you so much for your site. In His grip, C.H. / STREATOR, ILLINOIS
11/23/02 – I’ve finally able to wander around your web site and enjoy the music and video. What a blessing! I loved the music and listening to you and Lana. We’ve been facing some severe financial struggles recently and while our faith is deeper than ever, and we know we are tucked safely under the Lord’s wing, your site – the music – helped release a few of my hidden fears that seem tucked behind the nooks and crannies of my soul. I arrived feeling spent, but leave feeling refreshed. I already feel such gratitude for you and Lana from years ago. Thank you again. B.
11/25/02 – I pray that each of you are blessed. I love you all God Bless. L.C. / CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
11/27/02 – Praise God for what U R doing for HIM! This is how you ‘Give’ to God for us to be filled ‘pressed together, running over…’ God BLESS You & Yours, I pray. D.C. / CHENNAI, INDIA
11/27/02 – WOW!! I wish I had found this music a year ago. We recently pastored in Eastern Kentucky and never had a musician as part of our worship/praise. I have used many CD’s and even did some editing just to get a small piano or strings piece for special prayer or ministry time. That is what I need the CD for, to utilize in our home group now forming a new work in South Okla. City. We have a great keyboard, just can’t play it but we can play CD’s just fine. It is amazing how many people God will put in your path on a daily basis that are hurting and hungry, both physically and spiritually! May God richly bless your ministry and your calling. Till He Comes, R.S. / MOORE, OKLAHOMA
11/30/02 – It’s been a blessing for me to be able to listen/read the Christian messages at your site. I really need the “rest”. Please pray for me. E.K. / SINGAPORE
9/30/02 – Thanks for u creating this web. I am very thankful. I listen to your prayer and temptation scriptures. This given strength and please pray for me and send me nice messages in web then I can know more about Jesus and I will be very thankful. K.S. / MAHABUBNAGAR, INDIA
10/08/02 – I want to say that I love your ministry very much. K.E. / RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA
12/02/02 – I enjoyed the topic on spending time with God. C.E. / MAPLEWOOD, NEW JERSEY
12/4/02 – May God bless you and your ministry. You have helped me more than you know. God bless you and your family, S.
12/5/02 – I love the good works in your site, please keep it up. F.G. / UNITED KINGDOM
12/9/02 – What a refreshing and encouraging site. Thank you, B.G. / BARSTOW, CALIFORNIA
12/10/02 – It is a very nice site with lots of interesting info and verses, its really useful. Thanks a lot best regards. S.H. / CAIRO, EGYPT
12/18/02 – Good morning Pastor Eric; Wow. Your letter is confirmation to me; refreshment to my soul; direction and necessary healing. Your words come at a time of struggle over whether or not I will ever be completely “free.” And now I understand that where I am and where I am headed is “OK.” My brother Eric, I thank God for your obedience to Him…..to your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to be open to me. Thank You, Father. M.
12/21/02 – Hello, I would just like to thank you for your inspirational web site. Being brand new to the Internet I was just looking for Christmas music, any soothing music, while I attempted to figure this contraption out. While attempting to do so I stumbled on to your web site. I’ve had the most trying last three years with no end in sight. I was to the point that I didn’t even read my daily prayers and felt like I was starting to give up on faith. I’m not quite there yet, but I tell you since I found The Ranch I felt like God found a way to reach me instead. He certainly has a great sense of humor. He found me in front of this contraption and through the music I love most, piano. So now a new path begins. Thank you! Merry Christmas, V.W.
12/24/02 – I want to thank you, Eric, for your testimony and your Ministry. I have benefited from both. Regards, T.S. / DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, FLORIDA
12/25/02 – Sir, your site is wonderful and great to read, thank you. With regards, Y.S.
12/29/02 – Thank you brothers and sisters in Christ. And thank God for your ministry. A.S.
12/29/02 – Read your testimony long time back. Now listening your sermons. Yesterday at the church, I told about your wife’s “Prayer Closet” messages. GOD bless you ,your family, & your ministry. Amen. J.M. / BALUCHISTAN, PAKISTAN

News From The Ranch – September 2002

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Update on people who have been touched by The Ranch, a “real” ranch, and a new Piano Book for the music from “Clear My Mind.”

clear-my-mind-piano-music-thumbnail

For those who like to play the piano, you can now request a copy of the full piano score from the CD “Clear My Mind.”

Where Are They Now?

You may remember a woman I wrote about last year who gave her life to the Lord in the chat room at The Ranch while talking to another believer.

I thought you’d be interested to hear what’s happened to her in the past year.She wrote to me this week and said:

“Hi, it’s been awhile since I have written. I was going through some very rough times… I laid out all of my problems to [the woman in the chat room] and to God. During these past 25 years I did not attend church, nor had any interest. It’s now been just over a year and I am overjoyed and crying as I type this.

“To bring you up to date. I now attend church on a regular basis since November. I attend Church on Sundays, along with Sunday school. I also attend Wednesday night. Just these past 10 weeks, I have been working with the Vacation Bible School, and enjoying every bit of it. The Pastor of our church now sets time aside for our family one time a week, and does private bible lessons with my daughter who is 12. It’s great worshiping the Lord. …

“I still cry in church, but it’s a different type of cry now. It’s a cry for the answered prayers, and the faith that the Lord has for us. My life, and my older daughter’s life has changed. Changed for the good. All of the music my daughter and I listen to now is Christian. It’s been so encouraging and uplifting. I would be overjoyed to chat with [the woman in the chat room] again, and thank her, and her husband for all that they did for me.”

You may also remember a Muslim woman from Egypt who wrote to say she learned so much about God’s love and forgiveness after coming to the site. We’ve corresponded frequently since then, and she has been studying the Bible to compare it to the Koran.

Just this week, a good friend of mine met her in Egypt as he was speaking at a nearby church. She wasn’t sure if she should go to the church since they might not accept a Muslim woman. But after an email, prayer and a personal invitation from my friend, she went. She wrote this week and said:

“I concentrated on his words …He talked about John’s book: the lady sinner who met Jesus at the water well. He emphasized how he spent more time with her trying to teach her right things, talking to her decently notwithstanding her bad reputation or that she was an outcast by her society – that woman changed to goodness. The conclusion I’ve reached is that GOD is so forgiving. We shouldn’t give up any chance to approach him no matter how huge our sins are. He’s so caring and loving for us more than anybody on earth.”

Amen! He loves us so much that He’s willing to go to the ends of the earth to have a personal relationship with each one of us. And sometimes that relationship starts with a seed on the Internet!

These are just two examples of people who have been sparked to faith through our “virtual” ranch, but that faith is now having a very real impact on their everyday lives. Please continue to pray that our seeds would fall on good soil as Jesus said:

“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop– a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 3:18).

We’re Expecting!

Closer to home, I’m glad to tell you that we’re expecting! Lana’s just past her first trimester and we expect the baby will be born near the end of February. Lana and the baby are doing great, except for some inflammation of the veins in her legs that the doctor is treating. We’d appreciate your prayers for both baby and Mama!

A “Real” Ranch

You may also remember that we have been praying for some time about developing a “real” ranch for people to visit and be encouraged in their faith. Several people have written to us saying they want to come to The Ranch, not realizing that it’s just a website at this point. We know the interest is there and we’re interested in building one!

I’ve written a proposal that outlines what it would take to make this a reality. If you’d like to take a look at the proposal to get a feel for what we’re wanting to do, read The Ranch Building Proposal.

We’d be interested in your feedback and prayers for this project.

Piano Book

Several people have asked if I have sheet music for some of the music they’ve heard on The Ranch. So I’ve recently finished a 62-page book featuring the full piano score from all twelve songs on the CD “Clear My Mind”.

For me, playing music can be just as refreshing as listening to music. If you play the piano, or know someone who does, you might want to get a copy of this book. A high schooler from Albuquerque, New Mexico got a copy a few weeks ago and wrote:

“Clear My Mind is probably my favorite song in the book so far. It just is such a great way to…clear your mind! I’ve memorized it, and I just like to sit there repeating it, with my eyes closed. It is such a great song, and it is so relaxing, and really clears your mind.”

The sheet music is written at an easy/intermediate level and contains the actual versions of the songs used on the CD. You can request a copy of the book from The Ranch Giftshop.

Helpful Websites

For men, you may be interested to know that you can watch some of the Promise Keeper events live over the Internet. I was brought to my knees in prayer one Saturday morning in front of my computer as I watched Bruce Wilkinson speak live from Promise Keepers in Florida. There are three more live broadcasts this year:

  • September 6-7, from St. Paul,
  • September 27-28, from Los Angeles,
  • and October 18-19, from Anaheim (for youth).

To watch the live events, visit: promisekeepers.org.

For women, you may be interested in a new online Bible Study by popular author Beth Moore. This 10-week study, “Believing God,” will be taught on the Internet starting September 26. Register at: believinggod.com.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for helping us plant seeds of faith on the Internet and letting us watch them grow;
  • for the new life growing inside Lana and for keeping her and the baby healthy;
  • and for the vision to reach even more people for You.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for You to pour Your Living Water on the seeds that we’ve planted so they will grow strong;
  • for continued good health for Lana and the baby throughout this pregnancy;
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thank you for your prayers! They WILL make a difference!

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22)

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.

News From The Ranch – May 2002

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Learn how to make your own website; finding peace in the Middle East

Who is God?

Someone asked me this question a few weeks ago and I’d like to answer it here. The question is simple enough, and the answer is actually simple enough. But getting someone to believe it and letting it make a difference in their life is harder. Yet simple truths, when we really believe them, often have the most profound influence on our lives.

Here’s the letter:

“Hi. I stumbled onto your web site. I guess what I’m trying to figure out first is who is God? Who is Jesus? I’ve gone to churches in the past but didn’t seem to find any answers there. Basically Jesus was portrayed as a wimpy white guy. God was either some kind of grandfather figure or a vindictive entity. Can you help answer these questions? I mean really answer them? I want to know the character of these two. I want to know who they really are.”

Who is God? He’s the One who created you.

If you’ve ever created something that you value – maybe a song, or a building project, or a special meal – you know how precious your creation is to you. You’ll do just about anything to protect your creation from harm. Knowing that God created you reveals a great deal about His character.

And the simple truth is that He did create you:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:1, 27

God Himself described His character to Moses when Moses asked to see God. Here’s what God said as recorded in Exodus 34:6-7a:

“And he [God] passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…’”

God, the One who created you, is compassionate, gracious and slow to anger. He’s abounding in love, faithfulness and forgiveness. He cares so much about you that He doesn’t want to see you destroyed by anything that others might do to you or that you might do to yourself. So He cannot let the guilty go unpunished.

But unfortunately, all of us are guilty. We’ve all sinned by disobeying God at some point in our lives. So how does God punish the guilty (which is all of us) without destroying us in the process? That’s the answer to the second question.

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus? He’s the One who died for you.

When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price for the sins that you and I have committed. When we put our faith in Jesus, God saves us from the eternal punishment that should have come on us.

One of the best descriptions of Jesus’ character is in Romans 5:8:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I guess the fact that Jesus died practically naked at the hands of armed soldiers might give Jesus the appearance of being a “wimpy white guy.” But Jesus wasn’t captured against His will. He submitted His will to God’s will, even though it cost Him His life.

This truth gives Him an entirely different appearance. It takes an incredible amount of strength to let someone drive nails into your hands and feet, thrust a sword in your side, and seal you up in an airless tomb for three days, especially to pay the price for someone else’s crime. But that’s the kind of love that God demonstrated to each of us through Jesus. That’s the kind of love God has for you, His ultimate creation.

God does love you. He did create you. And He did send Jesus to die for you.

Keep asking God, like Moses did, to reveal His character to you. Read the Bible from cover to cover, then read it again and again and again. You’ll find these truths about Him and about Jesus are on every page you read. Let these truths sink deep into your heart.

And when you’re ready to experience first-hand His love, compassion, grace, faithfulness and forgiveness, you can do it in a moment by putting your faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. You can even do it right now, this moment, and let His peace fill your heart today and for the rest of eternity.

Peace in the Middle East

You can experience the peace of God even in the midst of turmoil all around you. Here’s a letter from another woman who visited The Ranch who lives in Jordan, which is bordered by Israel on one side and Iraq on the other.

“Hello Eric, I am an 18 year old female, I live in Amman – Jordan. I am Christian and I am proud I am. I was going through the web the other day looking for cool songs to download…when I found The Ranch site.

“I was deeply touched by this site and especially by your story! I cried, but my tears where tears of happiness for I felt happy for your happy ending! Being a teenager you know how sometimes life becomes kind of hard for us to live in. Sometimes I forget to pray to my Lord Jesus Christ, and many times I’ve committed a lot of sins, but deep down I knew that I was wrong so I used to go back and pray, but I used to repeat the sins.

“But today after going through the site and reading stories and yours especially, I felt different! I felt that this time due to my faith in Jesus, I am becoming someone different. I really felt that Jesus has touched my heart by your story. I wanna be a real Christian and thanks to this site, your great music and your story I am now. I can feel it and you can’t imagine how happy I am! I feel completely different. I want you to pray for me, to become a better person so I could spread the love of Jesus to everyone I know, just like you. Thank you very much for changing my life for the best:)”

Peace really is possible when you put your faith in Jesus Christ.

Please Pray With Us

And thank YOU for praying for us. I know people who come to The Ranch aren’t finding it by accident. They’re finding it because of your prayers.

On another note, we’ve added some new music to the website from Chuck Giacinto’s new worship CD, including long-play versions of Amazing Grace and Breathe. Just click Listen to Music at theranch.org.

Lastly, my friend Russell Pond has just published a devotional book called Season of Peace: 100 Inspirational Messages to Help You Find Peace From Anxiety, Fear and Panic Attacks. If you or someone you know needs encouragement in this area, you’ll find the book both practical and inspiring. You can read more about it and order a copy from his website at www.season.org.

Thank you Lord,

  • for creating us;
  • for loving us enough to send Jesus to die for our sins;
  • and for reaching out to show us your love wherever we live in the world.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • that we would accept your love by faith, trusting Jesus for our salvation;
  • for Your peace to flood the hearts of many in the Middle East and around the world;
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Website Creation Class

How To Create A Website For Your Ministry

How To Create A Website For Your Ministry

For those of you who are interested in creating your own Internet Ministry…

I’ve helped several ministries create websites so they can “preach the gospel to all creation.” If you’d like to create a website for your ministry, I’ve put together a three-hour course on CD called “How to Create a Website for your Ministry.” For more information, visit this link.

If you’ve been touched in some way by our ministry, we’d love to know about it. You may have noticed that all of the stories, music, videos, messages and personal correspondence on our websites is offered completely free to all who come and completely free of advertising. This newsletter is our only method of letting people know of our needs; people like you who have told us that you’re interested in what we’re doing.

To be very specific, our budget for this ministry is $5,000 per month, which covers all of our ministry expenses, Internet expenses, plus our personal salary and living expenses. Our average monthly donations this year, however, have been right around $2,400 per month. While we can continue to stretch dollars that come in, we have many projects we’d like to undertake but simply can’t at this level of funding. If 100 people would commit to donate $25 a month, (or 50 people giving $50 a month, or 25 people giving $100 a month), we would be able to do much more of what God has put on our hearts to do.

As Paul tells us in Romans 10:13-15:

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

We’re glad to keep going and telling people the good news, but we need people like you to send us. We’d love for you to join us? You can make a donation by credit card online or by mail by clicking this link.

Eric Elder Ministries 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.)

News From The Ranch – March 2002

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Email from Egypt, create your own website, and a good Internet accountability program

Lana's Prayer Closet

Let it Rain

I wonder if I’ll ever get used to the fact that we can now get a message half-way around the world in the blink of an eye…and that people will pay attention to it!

I heard last week from a Muslim woman in Egypt. She wrote to say she enjoyed the website and “I hope all the world can visit ‘The Ranch’ and benefit.”

I wrote back to suggest she watch a video message about prayer that Lana put on the Internet the week before. She replied:

Thank you for sending me Lana’s message. She’s so simple and delicate in her talking and looks. She’s also light-hearted which makes her speech more interesting than those official lectures which one hears but never gets influenced by. I’d like to be reminded of any new live messages.

Thanks again for your precious site which I found by chance 5 days ago. I have been crying deeply out of pain caused by lots of sufferings and tortures in my past life (far and near) when I searched the web for a relieving site. I visited it and remained there for a long visit that took me all night long. Then I went to bed and slept a while. When I woke up, I was in a good state. I missed that inner peace for years. Now I’m getting it back and thanks to you and Lana.

I wrote again to ask if there was anything we could pray for her, and she poured out her heart in a 5,000 word email (about 5 times the length of this newsletter; I’m sure it’s the record for an email we’ve received!) For confidentiality (and brevity!), I can only share the above snippets with you. But I can say it’s a total blessing to see how God works to minister to people half-way around the world.

When I was a kid, I remember one dry summer day when the grass was starting to wither and turn brown. As I turned on the garden hose and began to water the grass, I could see it practically spring back to life as the water fell on it.

God is doing the same thing now, pouring out His life-giving teaching like abundant rain on all who will listen. The Bible says:

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants” (Deuteronomy 32:2, NIV).

Yes, Lord, let it rain! Please pray with us that she would find the inner peace that she is desperately seeking, the peace with God that has been made possible to all of us through Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1-2).

Starting a Flood

One of my desires is to help flood the Internet with the teachings of God found in the Bible. Thanks to the Internet, our teaching is no longer confined to one room in one building, taught once and never to be shared again.

New visitors are coming to The Ranch every day, watching messages and reading stories, whether they were first shared several years ago or as recently as last week.

But even though we have several thousand visitors a month to the website, it’s just a drop in the bucket of the number of people searching for answers to life’s questions.

I want to invite you to become part of the flood! I’ve recently created a class to train others how to create a website for their ministry (using Microsoft FrontPage®) so we can multiply the effort of sharing God’s Word on the Internet.

A few weeks ago, I taught this three-hour class to a group of people at a Sunday School convention here in Illinois. I’m eager to see the new websites that will be developed as a result.

But I also want to duplicate this teaching to as many people as possible so we can continue to flood the Internet with Christian material. So I’ve put the full text of the class on a CD-ROM so you can go through it at your own pace.

In the class, I provide detailed instructions on how to create web pages, link them together, add text and images, and even add audio and video.

I know it can be intimidating to think about creating your own website, but I’ve spent much of my life trying to make technology easy for people to understand and use, so I hope you’ll carefully (and prayerfully) consider giving it a try.

One of the students at my class sent me this note:

I want to thank you for the class. I have been to a lot of tech classes and you are by far the best communicator of technical information I have seen. I mean that. I worked full time in the field at one time.

I’ve included his comments not just because of his kind words about the class, but to let you know that this is a class that is in language that everyone can understand and apply, not just “computer geeks.” But at the same time, you’ll learn some simple ways to do some very advanced things on the Internet.

As Christians, we’ve been given the most powerful message ever delivered, and the Internet is the most powerful delivery mechanism ever invented. Let’s flood it with the Word of God and bring life to the dying, both here on earth and on into eternity.

Eye Promise

As sold as I am on using the Internet for great good, I’m fully (and sadly) aware that Satan is using it for great evil, especially in the area of Internet pornography.

I’ve looked into many filtering programs and taught classes on Internet safety. But I recently found a program that gets to the heart of the matter. I’d like to recommend it to anyone who struggles with, or knows someone who struggles with, Internet pornography.

It’s called “Covenant Eyes.” It isn’t a filter, but is a software program that tracks every website you visit on the Internet – then sends a report of those sites to an accountability partner you designate. Many of the people I know who struggle with Internet pornography say they would have never started if they knew other people could see what they were doing.

I like that this approach doesn’t draw a legalistic “line in the sand” on what sites you can and can’t visit, but it let’s you be guided by your heart. So instead of pushing the boundaries of some filtering software to see what you can “get away with,” this brings you back to simply “doing what’s right.” You can sign up at www.covenanteyes.com.

Please Pray With Us

A dear friend of ours, Judy Wray, has offered to help coordinate the prayer effort for our ministry. She’d like to send out a brief note via email each week or two about our more intimate and urgent prayer needs. She’ll also add a few thoughts to encourage you in your own prayer life.

Her prayers for us have been extremely influential over the years. I know you’d be blessed to hear from her and you’d be a special blessing to us as you pray. If you’d like to receive these email updates, please let us know. Just send a note on our contact form with the word PRAYER in the subject line.

Thank you Lord,

  • for pouring out Your Word like rain around the world;
  • for helping us to help You;
  • and for Muslims, Christians, and others coming to The Ranch to learn more about Christ;

And Lord, we now ask:

    for You to multiply this work through our training efforts;

  • for more people to get involved through prayer and giving;
  • and for many to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Create Your Own Website

If you’d like to order the three-hour course on CD called “How to Create a Website for Your Ministry,” you can order online by credit card or by check through the mail. (Click here to see exactly what you’ll learn and what you’ll need for the course.)

The CD is available for a suggested donation of $75. All proceeds from the CD are put directly back into our ministry to help spread the message of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

You can order the CD online and make a donation by Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express, or Paypal) by clicking here (can be viewed for free now from here).

Or you can make a donation by check and mail it along with a note requesting the CD “How to Create a Website for Your Ministry.”

The IRS allows you to deduct the amount of your donation which exceeds the fair market value of any materials we send you (the fair market value of this CD is $75). We will send you a receipt along with your CD.

Eric Elder Ministries 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.)

News From The Ranch – January 2002

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

50,000 visitors to The Ranch, Email from guests, and current prayers.

Eric Elder Family 2002

My Friend Was Right

I was looking at the statistics this morning of the number of visitors we’ve had to The Ranch this year.

I couldn’t help but remember a conversation I had with a friend seven years ago as I was leaving my office building for the last time. I had just told him that I was resigning that day because God had called me into the ministry. Even though I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do, I knew I had to go.

Tears began to stream down his face as he said, “If God told you to do it, you’ve got to do it!”

He related to me how he had just given his life to Christ a few months earlier. He urged me to get on the Internet and start telling people about Christ. “There are people out there like me who are on the Internet all hours of the day and night. They’re looking for answers and you know where to find them.”

My friend was right.

This year, we’ve had over 50,000 visitors to The Ranch website. Almost all are looking for answers, needing encouragement, and wanting to know that God is real and cares about them personally.

A woman visited yesterday and wrote to say she had spent some time in prayer after reading a message on the site about children:

“I started to cry as soon as I typed this prayer. I sensed that God was telling me that he heard me and that he was taking care of it. I received this site from a friend who knows the troubles I am having right now so I know I was supposed to read the message on children. I feel like God is letting me know he can handle everything that I can’t.”

Another man wrote a few weeks ago to ask for help resolving a situation with his father. He wrote again:

“Thank you so much for your response. I have ordered [the books you recommended] and look forward to reading the text. I am a bit nervous about rediscovering the pain of the past, but I know God is able to see me through. Thank you as well for the scriptures and I intend to spend some quality time with the Lord in reference to this matter. I now have the beginnings of a plan and that’s what I was looking for – some small steps that I might take towards resolving this conflict. Your efforts are much appreciated.”

I wouldn’t have made it through this year without the aid of about 20 volunteers who stepped up to help me answer the emails. Lana’s been a great blessing, matching the emails that come in with the volunteers that can give personalized help.

A volunteer from Colorado wrote a careful and prayerful response to a man who wanted very much to reconnect with God. Back came this letter:

“Thank you for your detailed reply and for your prayers! Your letter brings back beautiful memories of those times when I was an active and practicing Christian. Also, your words “hit home” and brought tears to my eyes. I carefully perused through your letter, hanging on every word and spiritual thought. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time from your busy schedule to care for me and share with me! With your prayers and God’s help, I plan to attend services this weekend for the first time in about four years.”

Another volunteer from Tennessee prayed with a woman from England. She was struggling against depression and suicide, but mainly wanted help in making a decision for Christ. A few weeks later, she wrote back:

“Thank you very much for your reply. I have some good news. On October 24th I prayed a prayer asking Jesus into my life. I picked up my bible immediately afterwards and read Romans 4:7-8, it just jumped out at me. I will never forget that.” She closed with these words: “God bless! (I can say that now and mean it!)”

Many come because they don’t know where else to turn for help, like these three different writers:

“I am strong in Christ and I know he will give me the strength to endure but as a human, it is hard. Usually I don’t admit my weaknesses but since I don’t have to face you I will. Usually I don’t cry or express sadness but lately I feel nothing much but sadness and the need to cry, but I don’t let others around me know.”

“thank-u for all that you have done for me…it is good to get all this out when there is someone to listen to me…thanks”

“Those who know me best and know the Lord know nothing about this area of my life and, therefore, cannot pray specifically for me in this area…Neither my family or any of my friends know of this secret.”

And plenty come just to feel closer to God, like this woman from North Carolina:

“I know the Lord led me to this site today. I needed encouragement desperately and that’s what I got from this site. It’s really unique and I love the music. I thank the Lord for leading me to this place where I could find a calmness.”

Lana and I have been blessed to get to watch the body of Christ in action around the world, encouraging each other in the Lord.

God’s Ways

When I first started this ministry on the Internet, I felt a bit awkward telling people what I did. But this summer, I was encouraged by the words of David Yonggi Cho, the pastor of the largest church in the world (750,000 members!). He was asked how they could meet the needs of so many people. He said:

“We couldn’t handle the situation without computers. We computerized everything in the church – every facet! We also make use of the Internet. Right now we are offering an Internet church where people participate in services through the Internet. I want to take people to the Internet.

“Korea is very small – not like in America with a lot of space, so we can’t enlarge our church buildings. Besides, every year we have 20,000 new converts in our churches, and we can’t put them all in our church building or even our branch churches. So now we have an Internet church and many of the young generation participate in the services at home. They send in their offerings on the Internet. They can do on-line giving…And they also give us feedback about sermons and services. It is silly to build larger and larger church buildings. It is silly to spend more money on (branch church) buildings! You’ll never have enough. I really believe this, and I have already announced to my people and ministers that the next step is to go into total cyberspace ministry because it is a real waste of money to build larger buildings.”

The interviewer, Rick Warren, (who is also pastor of one of the largest churches in America) replied,

“Just think of that money and how you could be using it for missions!”

(You can read the full interview here.)

I guess I shouldn’t feel awkward about what I do. God’s ways are much higher than ours. By the end of today, another 150 people will have visited The Ranch. My friend really was right. Thanks for helping make this a reality.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for opening doors that no one can shut (Revelation 3:8);
  • for volunteers, prayer partners and supporters who make this work possible;
  • and for bringing people to The Ranch daily.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for continued wisdom to answer people’s questions;
  • for all the resources to help them;
  • and for still more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Joining Hearts

Does your heart resonate with the work we’re doing? If so, we’d love for you to join us in prayer or financially. We received an average of $2,800 a month this year from people like you to do this work full-time. We’d love to double that in 2002 and are praying that God would “strongly support” us in this effort through his people. If your heart is with us, we’d love to know.

To make a donation online right now, just click here.

Your gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Eric Elder Ministries is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

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.

News From The Ranch – August 2001

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Baptism in Latvia, the healing power of confession, and prayer for a “real ranch.”

andrisshad

Baptism in Latvia

I received an email a few weeks ago that began with these words:

Dear Eric,

My name is Andris. It was some four months ago (on April 7) that I confessed my sins and gave my life to Jesus. And the decision was in great part thanks to the encouragement I found at The Ranch! In fact, my conversion took place right there at the ‘Lover’s Leap’ [the prayer page on The Ranch website] . . . !

This is a direct result of your prayers that people would find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to God. Andris is from Riga, Latvia (south of Finland, north of Poland) and he had watched a message at The Ranch that featured one of my special guests, Bill Allison.

The message Bill gave that Andris watched was “How to Know For Sure That You’re Going to Heaven,” which you can still watch here. (Bill is a gifted communicator and has his own ministry which you can read about at www.cadreministries.com.)

I asked Andris if I could share a portion of the letters he wrote to Bill that night and again several weeks later when he was baptized. He wrote:

[April 7] “Thank you for the great message you shared with me! Having grown up in a Christian family, but never really having chosen to follow Jesus, I was deeply touched by God’s word tonight!! I prayed to him as good as I could and confessed all the sins I could think about. I wept for about an hour on my knees before God. I asked Jesus to be my Lord, to come and change my life and free me from all my sins.”

A few weeks later he added:

[June 10] … “What’s more, Bill, I was baptized last Sunday!!! That’s truly incredible, after all these long years of darkness. By the way, that man who baptized me was my brother (Peteris)! (Yes, I forgot to mention last time my brother was a pastor.) This was an unforgettable day for him as well!

Hallelujah! Those words are music to my ears to know that the work we’ve put into The Ranch has not been in vain. It’s amazing to think that even while we sleep, God uses a website to proclaim His message to people around the world.

Please continue to pray for Andris that the seeds planted will continue to take solid root and grow strong.

The Healing Power of Confession

Many of you prayed for my talks this month at the Exodus International Annual Conference. The conference gathered together 900 people who minister to others who struggle with homosexuality, as well as many who are themselves working through this struggle.

Thanks for your prayers as God is already using the talks to bring greater freedom to people working through this issue. In one of the talks I encouraged people to share their struggle with someone they trust, rather than just trying to deal with it on their own. The Bible says:

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a, NIV)

The following Monday I heard from a man who nervously took that advice and set up an appointment to meet with his pastor later that night. Before the meeting, he wrote:

“This afternoon I have decided to meet with my pastor and share my past and present struggles with him. He will be the first and only person I have shared this with locally. I realize that I have come to the point where I just cannot continue to handle this struggle alone without anyone locally to support me.

“… I’m scared, anxious, fearful, worried, and most of all I feel very alone in all this. As I write these words, my stomach churns with the dreaded anticipation of taking off my mask and making myself vulnerable to someone face to face, locally. I feel that I have so much to lose. But on the other hand I have so much to gain. All that I know is something must change. I cannot continue to exist the way I have existed the past 4-6 weeks. Death itself could not be any worse.”

He wrote again the next day, after the meeting:

“Well, I did it! I met with my pastor last night and basically told him everything … start to finish! He was very warm and gracious. Showed no reservations at all, was totally comfortable with what I shared. He told me that he desired to be whatever I needed, a pastor, counselor, friend, etc. I told him what I needed most was a friend with whom I could talk to, meet with, pray with, and be accountable to. He was more than eager to do that with me.

“Well, you were right! God was faithful and I felt so good after sharing all this. … What was I waiting for! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your encouragement and how God used you to move me to the point where I was willing to take this next step. It feels good to be known and still be loved!”

What a great feeling, indeed! Thanks for your prayers that are already bearing fruit.

What God Says

Lana and I, along with the help of several friends, have created four more pocket CD’s in the “What God Says” series. I love listening to Lana read the scriptures on various topics, set to inspiring music by friends like Chuck Giacinto, Kent Sanders, Brent Mitchell, and even my own. The topics finished so far include what God says about Prayer, Healing, Temptation, Missions, and Ministry.

It’s an affordable (and “cool”) way to impress God’s word on your heart. I hope you’ll order some for yourselves and your friends. It makes a great gift to tuck into a card, too! You can read more about them and listen to samples at www.WhatGodSays.com and use the enclosed card to request copies.

A “Real” Ranch

Lana and I have been praying for several years for a “real” ranch where we could invite people to come and grow closer to God.

I recently met with a man who has a similar vision and some property nearby. Please pray with us as we discuss the possibilities that could make this vision a reality. We simply want to know God’s will and ask that His will would be done.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for touching the life of Andris Sprogis and giving him eternal life;
  • for touching people through the Exodus conference to free them from their sexual struggles;
  • and for putting desires on our heart and then helping us to accomplish them.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • that You would protect and nurture the seeds that have been planted in people’s lives so they will bear fruit that will last;
  • that You would “enlarge our territory,” both over the Internet and physically;
  • and that more people will find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

New! Pocket CD’s!

These beautiful CD’s play in most CD players but are small enough to fit in your wallet, pocket or purse. Each CD contains about 5 minutes of encouraging words from God’s Word read to inspiring music. The suggested donation of $8 each (all 5 for $40) includes shipping and handling. Visit www.WhatGodSays.com where you can listen to samples, read the scriptures, and place an order.

If you’d like to make a donation without ordering, just visit the donation page.

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.

News From The Ranch – May 2001

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

God wants to use your gifts, the power of prayer, and the new series of wallet-sized CD’s called “What God Says.”

What God Says About Missions

How Does God Do It?

I was talking to a pastor friend about how God can possibly meet all the needs of all the people in the world. I said, “I don’t know how God does it.”

I wasn’t expecting a reply, but my friend turned to me and said, “I know how He does it. He does it through people like you.”

I had to think about that for a minute, but I realized he was right. Not that God does it just through me, but that He does it through ordinary people like me and like you. God has given each of us gifts that He wants us to use to reach out to others, to be His hands, to speak His words, and to demonstrate His love.

You may not think much of your gifts, but God does, and the people God has put around you certainly will as you reach out to them in His name. They desperately need a touch from God, administered by YOU.

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).

In my last newsletter, I asked you to pray that God would send people to help me answer the emails that come into this ministry. Thanks for praying! People have volunteered from Peoria (Illinois) to Pretoria (South Africa) and have begun to provide terrific and specific care to those who come with various requests. They range from a 14-year old who writes beautiful letters to an 87-year young retired chaplain.

I want to share with you some of the things God has done through them recently at The Ranch, not only to show you how God is answering your prayers for this ministry, but to encourage you to use your own gifts to reach out to those around you, too.

A Brazilian woman wrote for prayer. She said she had been saved, but had since lost sight of Jesus and wanted to be restored to God. I felt it would be better if someone who spoke her native language responded to her. What is it they speak in Brazil? Portuguese? So I passed her note on to a friend who speaks Portuguese. They corresponded in Portuguese and I later received this note from the Brazilian (in English),

“Since I wrote the e-mail to [the two of you], God has given me so many words of reconciliation. As I began to study these words I began to grow in my knowledge of God’s forgiveness. I am very grateful to [the two of you], who cared enough to take the time to share the gospel with me. And above all I am grateful to God.”

I received another note from a 16-year old girl asking if there was someone she could talk to. I put her in touch with our 14-year old volunteer. The 16-year old asked her,

“I was just wondering if maybe we could be friends, just someone I can talk to since I can’t really talk to my parents [they are going through a divorce]. Usually when I need a friend to talk to there is nobody in sight to listen to me and maybe you could help me with that.” Our volunteer said she would be glad to talk and pray with her and she got this reply back: “Thank you soooo much for replying to my email this means sooo much to me, and also I would like to thank you for praying for me.”

They’ve written, chatted and prayed many times since, bringing hope into an otherwise hopeless situation.

Another note came from a woman whose husband, a pastor, came into the chat room at The Ranch looking for some encouragement for himself. Little did he know how God would encourage him!

Although no one from The Ranch was in the chat room at the time, another woman was there who found the site and liked the music. The wife’s email continued:

“She was not a Christian but was searching for “something.” My husband had to go to bed and I ended up talking with her and we chatted for about three hours. We had so much in common it was amazing. On Saturday night I was typing my husband’s sermon and God called me back to the chat room. She arrived at the same time I did. My husband and I chatted with her for about an hour and before we logged off she had prayed the sinner’s prayer. It was an overwhelming experience. I have chatted with her since and am helping her get into a church that can minister to her and her children. We thought you would be interested knowing how God used your site to save a lost soul.”

Praise God that He works through each one of us as we use our different gifts for Him! I can do some things, but I certainly can’t speak Portuguese, I’m not a teenager, and I can’t chat 24 hours a day! But the Bible says that we are the “body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27) and He has given each of us different gifts to build up those around us. Christ is the head and we are His hands, His feet, His ears, His mouth.

I want to encourage you to reach out to those around you, at work, at home, at school, at church. God has put you in the midst of people who need a touch from Him, a word from Him, or a demonstration of His love.

If you wonder where to start, just pray a simple prayer like this right now:

“Lord, use me as a blessing in someone’s life today.”

The Power of Prayer

Speaking of prayer, a friend recently asked me: “What do you do to promote your websites? Do you pay for that? By looking at your statistics, you must be doing something else more than I am!”

My answer? No, I don’t pay to promote them, but I do pray to promote them. And I know many of you reading this newsletter pray regularly that God would draw people to The Ranch and the KidsRanch so God can draw people closer to Him.

The KidsRanch, for instance, gets 5,000 to 6,000 visitors a month, even though it’s only been up for less than six months; that’s 5 times as many visitors as another website I developed over 2 years ago for which I’ve never asked anyone to pray.

The prayers have opened up opportunities for these websites to be seen all over the world. Just a few months ago two men from Switzerland, Daniel Hari and Beat Baumann, came to the U.S. to visit some ministries doing outreaches over the Internet. They are creating some websites in Switzerland to reach out as well (www.livenet.ch and www.esoterik.li). After visiting the headquarters of places like Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Crosswalk, and Campus Crusade in Canada, they came to visit me!

When they returned home, they wrote up some articles about their visit. Within a few days a publication called “Friday’s Fax” (or Freitags-Fax as it is known in German) picked up the story about our ministry and sent it out by fax and email to 7 million people! (www.jesus.org.uk/dawn/2001/dawn12.html#USA3)

I got a copy from a friend in Texas who had received it from someone in New Zealand where it had been translated from the original German into English. What a world we live in today. And what a God we have who answers prayer in ways that go “beyond all we could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

People from Germany and Switzerland have since written in to ask if I can correspond with them in German. I could try, but guess what? Someone volunteered just a few days ago to help answer emails – in German!

Can I share with you one more astounding answer to your prayers? I asked you in the last newsletter to pray for me as I began to write a book. I’ve since started and still need your prayers. But soon after I asked you to pray, I got an email from a woman who had seen my testimony on the Prayer of Jabez website prayerofjabez.com.

She was just finishing up a book on prayer and wondered if she could publish my story in it, and asked if I had any other stories about answered prayer. I wrote out a few more and sent them to her.

She then told me her publisher had printed 15,000 copies of her previous book about angels (called Angels Everywhere by Lynn Valentine) and Hallmark printed another 35,000 copies of the book for their stores. They plan to print similar runs of this book called The Power of Prayer, possibly as soon as Christmas of this year.

I’m glad to know that even though I have no experience at getting a book published, God does! Please pray that my stories will make it into the book and that they will encourage many to reach out to God in prayer.

Please pray also as I continue to write my own book, that God will give me words to write and an avenue to deliver them to as many people as possible.

What God Says

I hope you’ll indulge me to let me write an extra page or two of this newsletter. In the past few weeks, God has put on my heart a new project to put His Word into the hands of thousands of people at their point of need.

God has given us Words of Life in the Bible, but for many people they are simply idle words because they are kept closed up in a book on a shelf.

A new CD format has sprung up recently in a shape that can fit in your wallet, or in your pocket, or in a greeting card, but can still play in a normal CD player. They hold about 5 minutes worth of music or about 50MB worth of data.

We’ve begun to create a series of these CD’s called “What God Says” to address various topics, such as “What God Says About Prayer,” “What God Says About Love,” “What God Says About Healing,” “What God Says About Missions.” The list of possible topics goes on and on to cover what God says about depression, fear, joy, sex, grief, life, relationships, mothers fathers, children, angels, and so on.

With the help of some talented friends, we are putting these scriptures on CD’s, set to beautiful background music. Lana reads the scriptures with a voice that people describe as “angelic,” “perfect,” “soothing,” and “it moved me to tears,” among other great words (and they’re all true!).

We’ve begun to secure the trademarks, copyrights, and even UPC barcodes to begin to offer them not only over the Internet, but also in stores where people are looking for gifts for others or inspiration for themselves.

I believe that the distinctive packaging, the low-cost, and the compelling message of these CD’s will make this an attractive way to expose people to God’s Word in a way they’ve never experienced before.

The project is constantly on my mind, going back and forth in my brain as I try to work out the details and consider the possible impact. I need your prayers desperately as the urgency and difficulty of making this happen overwhelm me almost daily. It makes me cry even now just thinking about the impact this will have on people’s lives.

I’d like to send you one of our first completed CD’s called “What God Says About Missions.” Just send us the response card in the enclosed envelope and if you could include a donation, that would be great, too.

A missionary friend helped us choose the scriptures, Lana reads them beautifully in various English translations, Chuck Giacinto composed the moving music, and Jim Brown provided the photography for the cover. Even though the CD’s only 4 minutes long, I can listen to it over and over and not get tired of it. I know it will be a great encouragement to others who have a heart for missions, or others whom God wants to have a heart for missions if they were so inspired. This will also give you a feel for the potential of the entire series.

As I’ve said many times, I have to say again: I need your prayers. The planning, budgeting, legalities, copyrights, trademarks, royalties, and so much more are sometimes way beyond what my grapefruit-sized brain can comprehend (it feels like a plum most days!). The learning curves are high, but I can see how God has trained me so much already during my years studying His Word and studying technology. I realize that in many ways He has uniquely called me to make this happen.

I hope you’ll request at least one copy of this first CD, and consider getting several copies to hand out to others.

I’ve also created a new website to go with the CD’s called WhatGodSays.com. From there, you can listen to samples and sign up to receive an email whenever new titles are available. I hope to have the first ten titles or so done very soon, and we have another 50 or more waiting in the wings to be created in the future.

The best way you can help me is to pray. But you can also help me in two other ways.

We can produce 500 CD’s of one title for just $1,500. That’s incredibly cheap by recording industry standards. But that’s $1,500 more than we have. If there’s a particular title you would like to see us develop (you can see a list at the WhatGodSays.com), we could begin to work on that title with a $1,500 donation. We’re praying for at least 10 initial donors who would help us fund the development of the first 10 titles.

I wish I could offer you an earthly return on your investment, but I’m positive that the heavenly return God will give you will be worth much more than anything I could give you.

The other way you could help us is to consider committing to send a regular monthly gift to this ministry. James Dobson (head of Focus on the Family) sent out a newsletter last month that accurately describes a dilemma we’ve noticed in our own ministry for the past three years (you can read his letter at family.org/docstudy/newsletters/A0015866.html).

He said that the mainstay of their funding comes through gifts they receive in the mail as people write in to request information or help. But in recent months, many of those people have begun to use the Internet to contact their ministry. They’ve been able to respond to many more people as a result, but the downside is that people are less likely to include a gift when they correspond over the Internet.

We also continue to grow and reach out to more and more people, but our donations have not grown proportionately. We would like at least another 20 families or churches to make a commitment to send in a monthly gift. We continue to trust in God for our provision, but we also know that one of the ways He provides is through people like you.

Thanks for letting me share this. Like James Dobson, I don’t like to make this kind of appeal and I try not to do it very often. But I do feel it’s important to clearly state our needs so those who are interested can respond.

Please Pray with Us

There is power in prayer, and I hope you’ll pray along with us.

Thank you Lord,

  • for the volunteers you’ve provided to help us give individual care to those who come needing a touch from You;
  • for the growing number of people who are being drawn to You because they were drawn to our websites;
  • and for the inspiration and opportunities to continue expanding the territory of this ministry.

And Lord, we now ask:

  • that You would help each one of us to use our gifts to reach out to those around us;
  • that You would bless these writing projects and new CD’s to bring Your Word into the lives of people who desperately need it;
  • and for still more people to find their way to The Ranch and the KidsRanch so they can find their way to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have a great week! Don’t forget to use the gifts God’s given you to reach out to others!

We Appreciate Your Support!

If you would like to request a copy of “What God Says About Missions,” please visit the WhatGodSays.com website, where you can also make a donation to our ministry.

If you’d like to make a donation without ordering, just use the link 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.

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.

News From The Ranch – December 2000

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

The Ranch Prayer Card, opening of the KIDSRANCH and the response from the USA Today story.

The KidsRanch is now open at www.kidsranch.org

The KidsRanch is now open at www.kidsranch.org

Every Prayer Counts

Even though the recent U.S. election has left some people wondering if every vote counts, I feel stronger than ever that every vote really does count.

But regardless of what I feel about that, there’s something of which I am totally certain: every prayer counts.

There are times when I’ve felt that God doesn’t need my prayers, that there are plenty of other people praying, that there’s no need to add mine. But I’ve realized that one vote in prayer, when added up with countless others, can tip the scales in the outcome of any situation. And unlike punch card ballots where you can vote only once, by praying we really can “vote early and vote often.”

I say this to encourage you in your own prayer life. If you think you’re prayers don’t count, think again.

In the Bible, Paul says that we should “pray continually” (1 Thessalonioans 5:17). Luke says that the disciples joined together “constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14). Jesus told stories to show us that we should “always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).

God wants us to pray continually. And he gives us this promise: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results” (James 5:16, NLT).

Prayer Card

I also say this to encourage you to pray for us. I am confident of this: every single prayer you say for our family and for this ministry makes a difference. And when added to those of others around the world can tip the scales that mean life or death for someone who needs God.

For this reason, we’ve created a prayer card to remind you to pray for us. Click here (or click the picture below) for a printable version of the prayer card. We hope you’ll print it out and save it to remember to pray for us.

One woman told us a few years ago that she put our picture on her refrigerator and from time to time she’d hold her hand up to our family picture and pray for us. That really touched our hearts and we know it touched our lives: prayer is the foundation for every good thing that comes out of this ministry. Every single prayer really does count!!

KIDSRANCH Now Open!!!

With so many kids on the Internet, I’ve wanted for some time now to create a website just for them that would be both fun and encouraging, and at the same time give them the gospel message.

This summer, about 200 kids at our church’s Vacation Bible School helped me to start creating just such a site. This past week I’ve been able to finish it up and open it for kids from all over the world to visit at www.kidsranch.org. I hope you’ll visit the KidsRanch and have some fun exploring it on your own. Even though I created the site specifically for kids 13 and under, there are tons of games and jokes, music and stories that will appeal to young and old alike (you can play “Asteroids” as long as you want – and you don’t have to put a quarter in every 3 minutes!)

Thanks again to everyone who contributed materially or financially to make the KidsRanch possible. Please pray right now that God will use the KidsRanch to draw kids closer to Him.

Tell your friends about the site, and stop by the KidsRanch yourself and let me know what you think! (Please note that the address is “www.kidsranch.org,” NOT “www.kidsranch.com,” which is someone else’s website!)

USA Today Response

Thanks, too, for your prayers for the USA TODAY article. The article itself, plus the incredible response to it, has been nothing but positive. Here’s a direct link to the article in case you missed it, or if you want to pass it on to others to introduce them to The Ranch: www.usatoday.com.

I know your prayers worked because the secular press is not always so favorable to religion in general, nor to evangelists in particular! The response was immediate as I began to get emails from people all over the U.S. who “happened” to find the paper that day. Several other papers and electronic newsletters picked up the story and did similarly favorable follow-up articles.

We’ve averaged about 3,000-4,000 visitors each month this year at The Ranch website, but last month that number shot up to over 8,000 visitors, our highest month ever.

I’ll let you know some of the specific responses in the future, but I’m still trying to make my way through all of the emails myself! If you’re one of those awaiting a response, please bear with me as I wade through this increased blessing!

I’d also ask you to pray again for Leslie Miller at USA Today who did such an excellent job writing the article, that God would continue to bless the use of her words. I’ve since found out that to buy a half-page ad in USA Today the size of this article would cost $45,000!! Sounds like a Jabez-sized answer to prayer to me! (www.prayerofjabez.com, 1 Chronicles 4:10).

Year-End Gifts

One of the things Leslie pointed out in the article is that I am very low-key in my requests for funding for this ministry. Sometimes I’m too low-key and I know some of you want to know how we’re doing.

Quite honestly, we operate at less than 50% of what we’ve budgeted to run the ministry. So far this year, we’ve received an average of $2,300 a month in donations. From this we pay my salary to support my family and all the computer and other costs needed to run the ministry. To say we run a tight ship is an understatement, and we do indeed need your help. Just like every prayer counts, every dollar counts, too.

As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we will send you a tax-deductible receipt for your gifts of cash, stocks, vehicles, even land (we’re praying for a physical ranch where we can offer spiritual retreats for people who need encouragement in their faith). Please postmark any year-end gifts by December 31st to be deducted from this year’s taxes.

Please Pray with Us

Thank you, Lord,

  • for the chance to proclaim your name to hundreds of thousands through the USA TODAY and the follow up articles,
  • for the help and support of everyone who contributed to the the KidsRanch,
  • and for providing the funds to continue this ministry this year.

And Lord, we now ask

  • for increasing resources to handle the increasing ministry,
  • that you would draw kids to the KidsRanch who need to learn about You and grow in their faith,
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Time for a Boost!

Dear friends, we do need your help. Thanks so much if you’re already donating to our ministry. If not, we’d love for you to join us. We’re currently operating at less than 50% of our budget and would appreciate any boost you could give us, either as a monthly commitment or a one-time gift. Thanks for considering us in your giving plans.

You can donate directly online by clicking the “donate now” button below.

If you’d like to make a donation of and receive a CD, such as “Marilyn Byrnes: Christmas”, or “Eric Elder : Clear My Mind”, just click Take It With You. You can listen to samples at www.1piano.com. Your gifts will help our ministry greatly! Thanks!

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.

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!

USA Today Feature Article About Eric Elder And The Ranch

Here’s a feature article USA Today wrote about our ministry for their November 13, 2000 issue, which focused on how the Internet is changing the way people work.

USA Today Feature Article About Eric Elder And The Ranch, November 13, 2000

(Photo caption) Real Deal: Eric Elder operates a full-time ministry on the Internet called TheRanch.org. “I have this message I want to get out, and the Internet was made for delivering messages,” he says.


Web pastor spreads God’s word on the Net
New breed of evangelist goes beyond the church to reach out to thousands of cyber-visitors a month
by Leslie Miller
USA TODAY

High Tech executives may put “Internet Evangelist” on their business cards, but Eric Elder is the real deal.

“Some people would say I’m a Webmaster.   Some people would say I’m a Webcaster.  Some people would say I’m a Web Pastor,” he observes dryly.  “But I like to say I’m doing what God’s called me to do – reach out to others around me.”

Elder, 37, is a new breed of evangelist – a high-tech, low-key minister who runs TheRanch.org, a spiritual retreat center that exists only in Cyberspace.

Thousands of visitors a month stop by to chat, see half-hour videos of Elder preaching, meditate with music and Scripture, or read people’s stories about how God has touched their lives.

“My particular message is that God is real, and he cares deeply about each one of us,” Elder says.  “I have this message that I want to get out, and the Internet was made for delivering messages.”  He says he’s “not trying to transfer the concept of church to the Internet.  I love church.  I belong to a church.  Church is great.  But in a church, my message only goes about a hundred feet.  On the Net it goes to a hundred countries.

“As a Christian, Jesus has called us to reach all the world.  Preach the gospel to all creation.  This is just one more way to do that.”

That’s something a growing number of believers – clergy and others – are beginning to realize.  In a survey by Christianity Today magazine, 56 of 1,400 subscribers to Christian e-mail lists said they shared their faith online regularly, or often, mostly via e-mail.  Women (62%) were more inclined to do so than men (47%).

“This is grass-roots people on the Web who are talking to their friends, says Keith Stonehocker, senior vice president of Christianity Today.

He presented survey findings Nov. 4 at a conference sponsored by the Internet Evangelism Coalition, a group made up of more than 30 Christian organizations, including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Campus Crusade for Christ International.

Almost half of those surveyed (49%) said their church has a web page, and 18% said they personally know someone who has  become a Christian as a result of online evangelism.  For respondents under age 24, it was almost 25%.

“The last couple of years have seen just about every ministry organization recognize that this is a long-term need, to have a presence on the World Wide Web,” says Robbie Richardson, director of Gospel Communications Network, one of the organizers.  “This conference is focused on helping stimulate Christians to begin to realize that this tool can be used not just for resourcing other Christians, but for evangelization.”

Not a hobby

Elder is ahead of the curve.  Unlike some techie pastors or layfolk who create church websites as a hobby, he’s a full-time Net minister, as well as a full-fledged tech professional.

He learned the intricacies of computer networks as a researcher for Texaco’s Advanced Technology Group for nine years where he developed the companies first Web site – and came to recognize the Web’s potential for encouraging people in their faith.

He was ordained in 1995 and served as an associate pastor at a church in Texas for a year, then started his own non-profit ministry to focus full-time on Cyberspace.

Eric Elder Ministries is based out of his home in Streator, a central-Illinois town of 14,000 about an hour from Peoria.  Both he and his wife, Lana, grew up in the area and like being near family.  She’s homeschooling their five kids, who range in age from 9 years to 4 months.

Elder understands that some people are turned off or intimidated by churches: he hopes the image of a laid-back retreat center will attract them and show them there’s another way to deal with the stress and trouble in their lives.

“I believe God’s message, that he loves people, is for everyone,” he says. “The Ranch taps into the idea that people need a place to slow down and take a break.”

He uses the web to draw visitors in, then backs off.  “People searching for God usually want to explore on their own, without people getting in their face,” he says.

The 180-page site feels spacious and easy to navigate.  It’s also technologically cutting edge, with live Webcasts, streaming audio and video, and chat options.  Extensive text is there, too, so those who can’t access multimedia don’t miss out.

Elder attempts to help lonely and depressed people find The Ranch by coding its pages with words they might type into search engines, but he notes that his goal, and the thrust of his site, “is to point people back to God and the Bible and seek him out themselves.”

Still, many visitors end up seeking Elder out to talk because something is weighing on their conscience that “they don’t feel comfortable talking about to a pastor or spouse or friends,” he says.

The Net feels more anonymous, and Elder seems non-judgmental.  He shares intimate details of his own faith journey on the site, and in photos smiling with his family, he looks relaxed and approachable.

“People will open up with me and say, “I have never told anyone this in my life.  But you look like someone I can talk to,” he says.

Elder’s modest demeanor and sophisticated grasp of technology often disarm those who expect Bible-based evangelists to be all fire and brimstone, and his approach seems to appeal to those “who have been turned off by some of the louder people.”

But he recognizes that his style doesn’t work for everybody.  “Some people need a football-coach kind of guy to really kick-em’ in gear, frankly.  We all have different gifts and can reach a different segment of the population.”

He also differs from many church-based preachers in that he avoids discussing denominational affiliations.  He believes it tends to alienate people.  “I try to remove any barriers,” he says.

‘What’s important to us’

Another potential barrier is the blatant pitches for money that people often associate with televangelists.  So Elder steers clear of fundraising on the site.  Instead, he sends out a regular newsletter to those who request it, with updates about the ministry and its needs.

He can do this because the cost of preaching on the Web are much less than for those evangelizing on TV – just “my salary and a nominal amount” for computer costs.  About 85% of his support comes from donations, mostly from friends and family.  Only a small fraction is from website visitors he’s never met.  The other 15% of his income is from his part-time work designing Web sites for other ministries, a project he started last year at 101sites.com.

His family lives in a house owned by his in-laws, and Streator “is not a high-rent district,” Elder notes. It’s a matter of scaling down how we live in order to do what’s important to us.”

Elder is well aware of the limits of technology.  “Even though I do an Internet ministry, I’m not dependent on the Net to get my message out.  God is interested in the hearts of people, and he will use any means possible to reach as many as possible before the end comes.

“If my Web server goes down, it’s frustrating.  But God will still break through to people’s hearts.

“Before there was a World Wide Web, there was a world wide God.  And he still works overtime.”

News From The Ranch – October 2000

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Feature story about The Ranch in USA Today, The Prayer of Jabez, a special Christmas CD.

Christmas, by Marilyn Byrnes

If you like piano music, I think you’ll love this new CD of relaxing Christmas music now available through our ministry.

USA TODAY Article

If you’ve read my newsletter for any length of time, you know that I always end with a prayer that people will find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to God.

If you’ve prayed that prayer with me, I know you’ll be excited to hear the most recent answer. I got an email a few weeks ago from Leslie Miller at USA Today. She had found The Ranch and asked if she could interview me about our Internet ministry for a special technology section they’re publishing on Monday, November 13th.

(Here’s a direct link: www.usatoday.com.)

So we set up an interview and talked on the phone for a couple of hours. You can bet that Lana and I did a little house cleaning when she said she was sending a photographer! It was all very exciting, but what’s even more exciting is that God can use this article to send His message of love and forgiveness through His Son to more people in one day than I’ve been able to reach in my entire lifetime. USA Today has 2.2 million readers! (with 13.1 million online readers!)

I’m excited because I know that God Himself is trying to reach out to His people, and He’ll use whatever means He can to do it. I want you to pray with me that God will use this to draw thousands of people closer to Him, whether they come to The Ranch, or are simply touched by the article itself.

I’m praying that not one person would skip over this article if God is trying to touch them through it. Even if someone just picks up a copy on a chair at an airport, or they find it under their hotel room door, or they see a copy at a gas station, I pray God would not let them put it down until He’s had a chance to speak to them through the article.

Because next Monday’s deadline is so close, would you pray with me right now before you go any further in this newsletter? Pray that the final wording of the article would say exactly what God wants to say to reach out to His people, and that many would click onto The Ranch so they can draw closer to Him. I hope you’ll pray right now, then keep reading the rest of the newsletter.

The Prayer of Jabez

When I first heard about this USA Today interview, I was reading a little book called The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson. Jabez was a man in the Bible who prayed a little prayer and saw great results. He asked God to bless him and enlarge his territory – and God did (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). Bruce Wilkinson suggests that we could pattern our own prayers after Jabez by praying something like this: “O God and King, please expand my opportunities and my impact in such a way that I touch more lives for your glory.”

So I began to pray this prayer and a few days later got the email from USA Today! I hurried up to finish the book to find out what to do next! I’ve heard that God has already used this book in many people’s lives. If you’d like to read more about this little prayer, you can visit: www.prayerofjabez.com.

Websites

Speaking of websites, I’m putting the finishing touches on the KidsRanch website at www.kidsranch.org. It’s been really fun to put together and I believe it will be fun and encouraging for both kids and adults. Please pray with me that God will speak through me as I write the final pages on the site that will tell kids that God really does exist and He really does care about their lives.

In the mean time, you can take a look at a church website I just finished at www.christiscentral.com. You’ll find great sermons, topics for teens, thoughts on worship, plus a whole lot more. I also think this website will help you with many ideas if your own church is going on the web.

Letters

Back at The Ranch, here are a few of the letters people have written.

A woman from Colorado writes:

“As always, I have just enjoyed a brief visit at the ranch 🙂 I sent your link to a few friends tonight, as I had not done that before for them. I hope to be back soon.”

Another woman found The Ranch when she did a search on the Internet for “someone to talk to” and it brought her to my site. She poured out her heart in an email and ended with this:

“I’m sitting here now debating whether to hit the send button. I feel so much better just for having written out some of the things that have been weighing on me. That makes me think that maybe I can just delete this and carry on. On the other hand, if God set it up, who am I to try and defy it? Send it is. Thank you again.”

A man from North Carolina writes:

“I am listening to your CD [online] and I can barely type. I am crying so hard. The HEALING in your playing is AWESOME!! My heart is so refreshed. I have been in a horrible battle and pit that I couldn’t pull out of and Jesus has climbed down in that pit to get me and start pulling me out as I listen to this CD.”

And it’s not often I get to quote a writer from USA Today, so here’s a quote from Leslie Miller, too:

“I look at a lot of religion-oriented Web sites, and yours really stands out – it’s one of the best I’ve seen, and I’d like to feature it in USA Today if you’re agreeable to that.”

Christmas CD

Many of you know that I love to play the piano, but you may not know that my sister’s really the pianist in the family.

She’s extremely talented and went to college on a music scholarship (so I’m not the only one who thinks she’s good!) So I was glad last month to help her record her second CD, this one of beautiful Christmas music. We’re making it available to you this month through our ministry.

It features traditional Christmas songs like Joy to the World, Silent Night, and What Child is This? all expressed in a fresh and relaxing style, similar to George Winston.

The CD’s are strikingly beautiful, not only in their sound but also in the way they look, so they’ll make great Christmas gifts as well. I already heard from one woman in Chicago who’s getting copies for her friends:

“I got the CD. It’s awesome! I am making my list and checking it twice right now.”

You can use the enclosed response form to order copies and you can listen to samples at www.1piano.com. Your donations will go a long way in helping us minister to others over the Internet.

Please Pray With Us

Thank you, Lord,

  • for answering our prayers to draw people to The Ranch so they can draw close to You,
  • for the opportunity to reach out to millions with Your message through this USA Today article,
  • and for using this new technology to spread Your Word throughout the world.

And Lord, we now ask

  • that every person You want to reach through the article will find it and read it,
  • for Your Words and wisdom as I finalize the KidsRanch,
  • and for more people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Donations and Christmas CD

If you’d like to make a donation of $15 or more and receive the “Marilyn Byrnes: Christmas” CD, please fill out the response form. Songs include: Silent Night, The First Noel, The Holly and the Ivy, O Holy Night, Auld Lang Syne, and more. Hear a sample at www.1piano.com. Your gifts will help our ministry greatly! Thanks!

If you don’t want the CD but would like to donate to our ministry directly, click the “donate now” button for credit card donations.

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.

News From The Ranch – August 2000

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

A report from Amsterdam 2000, quotable quotes from Amsterdam speakers, and VBS update.

Franklin Graham at Amsterdam 2000

Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, shares tips with us about how he and his father preach evangelistic messages.

Amsterdam 2000

Thanks so much to everyone who prayed for me and contributed to my trip to the Amsterdam 2000 Conference for Evangelists.

There were 10,267 participants from 209 countries around the world. It was said to be the most international gathering of any kind, whether secular or religious.

As I walked through the hallways at the convention center, I felt like I was “walking among giants” with people like: J.I. Packer, John Stott, Luis Palau, Bill Bright, Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Chuck Colson, Joni Erickson Tada, Ravi Zacharias, Rick Warren and a host of others. Their names may not be household words to everyone, but they are the names of some of the most distinguished evangelists and Christian leaders in the world.

For nine days we were exposed to their collective wisdom and inspiration. The purpose was to encourage us in our work, equip us for greater effectiveness, and expand our vision for how God might work through us in the world. I know it did each of those things for me.

But what brought me to tears one afternoon was a thought that came to me while a group of us were praying and thanking God for this experience. The thought was this: as remarkable as it was to “sit at the feet” of these godly men and women and learn from them, isn’t it even more remarkable that any one of us can come to God Himself anytime in prayer to get wisdom directly from Him!

What a privilege to be able to sit at the feet of the King of Kings to ask Him for wisdom to help us through anything.

The Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV).

I’m grateful for all that I learned from the speakers in Amsterdam, and I’m also grateful that I can come to God anytime through prayer to continue to learn from His wealth of knowledge.

Nuggets of Wisdom

You can still watch the main sessions of the conference at www.amsterdam2000.org. For starters, I’d recommend the messages by Billy Kim, Anne Graham Lotz, and Franklin Graham.

But I also want to share a few of the nuggets of wisdom I heard during the conference.

For instance, Billy Kim said that the Coca-Cola company puts Christians to shame. In the company’s vision statement they say that they see six billion consumers in a thirsty world all being refreshed by Coca-Cola. Their vision is for everyone in the world to have a taste of Coca-Cola by the end of the year 2000. Mr. Kim continued, “Yet we do not have a vision or a strategy to let everybody in this world taste the living water of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said: “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” (John 4:14)

He then quoted C.H. Spurgeon who was once asked, “Can a man be saved if the gospel is not preached to him?” Spurgeon replied, “The real question is: Are we saved if we do not preach the gospel to him?”

The theologian J.I. Packer said that we can be both deep thinkers and simple presenters of the gospel. Billy Graham once told an interviewer, “I study to be simple.”

Greg Laurie said that whenever we preach the gospel, we must leave the results to God, remembering that “the harvest is not at the end of the service, but at the end of the age.”

Joni Erickson Tada spoke from her wheelchair about how she has to call on God for help from the moment she wakes up in the morning. She then added that she wonders if those with the real handicap are those who think they can get up and go through their entire day without ever calling on God for help.

Gerry Gallimore said that Jesus told a religious leader of his day, “You must be born again” (John 3:7, NIV), reminding us that a person can be religious, yet still unconverted. Mr. Gallimore then boldly, but gracefully said, “Could it be that there are some here who have not yet made Jesus Christ Lord of your life? Brothers and sisters, you and I need to be born again! How are we to introduce anyone to Jesus Christ if we do not ourselves have a personal experience of His saving grace.”

Ajith Fernando of Sri Lanka said that Christians are sometimes charged with arrogance because of Jesus’ claim to be the only way to God when he said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Mr. Fernando said, “The real arrogance is for we humans to reject our Creator.” Then he added, “If we [Christians] don’t share the answer we’ve found, we are selfish.”

And finally, Luis Palau shared that as a teenager he wanted to preach but he was hesitant. His mother asked him what he was waiting for and he said, “I’m waiting for ‘the call.’” His mother said, “The Call?!? The Call?!? The call went out 2,000 years ago!! The Lord is waiting for the answer, not for the call!!”

Going Forward

God spoke to me frequently though the speakers at the conference and also through some of the other participants with whom I shared meals and tram rides to and from our hotels. The call has gone out, and I am committed more than ever to go forward in answer to it. Thanks again to those who made it possible for me to go to this once-in-a-lifetime conference.

Vacation Bible School

Thanks, too, for those of you who prayed about my opportunity to speak at our church’s Vacation Bible School. Because I was in Amsterdam the same week as VBS, I taped my segments about missions which were played to the kids each day.

When I returned, I heard that a record number of kids had attended, and that they were indeed impacted by the missions segments. They even raised over $1,500 for missions to help us in our Internet outreach! They also helped to write jokes and stories to include on our new gospel website for kids. You’ll be able to see it soon at www.kidsranch.org.

Please Pray with Us

Lana and I really appreciate and value your prayers. They do make a difference.

Thank you, Lord,

  • for the prayers and support of those who helped make it possible for me to go to Amsterdam 2000,
  • for the words You spoke to me during the conference,
  • and for moving on the hearts of kids to get involved in missions.

And Lord, we now ask

  • for your continued inspiration as we go forward in ministry,
  • for creativity as I create this new gospel website for kids around the world,
  • and for people to find their way to The Ranch (and The Kid’s Ranch!) so they can find their way to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Donations

Please note that donations can now be made to our ministry online at this link. It takes less than a minute to complete the transaction and would bless us tremendously. 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.

Prayer Update December 2011

’m starting a new prayer team this month for our ministry for anyone interested in praying for our ministry here at The Ranch in the days ahead. If you’d like to join our prayer team and receive these updates every month or so in the future, just send me an email and I’d be glad to add you to the list. Your prayers really do make a difference, and know that we deeply appreciate it.

Here are our prayer requests and praises for December…

We’ve been doing some much-needed fund raising the past few months, trying to raise an additional $2,500 in monthly support, and an additional $15,000 in one-time gifts. So far, we’ve raised $1,070 in additional monthly gifts from 12 new supporters and 1 family who has increased their gift. We’ve also raised $9,530 in one-time gifts from another 18 supporters, some of whom are new to supporting our ministry, and some of whom are already monthly donors. So praise God! We’re moving along! But we still have about $1,430 to go in monthly commitments, and $5,470 to go in one-time gifts. So we’d still appreciate your prayers that we’re able to reach 100% of our goal.

Also, if you know of anyone who might be interested in hearing about what we’re doing, and the cool way God is using the Internet to reach out to people around the world, we’d love to share it with them. I’d be glad to visit with individuals or families or groups in person, whether small groups, or a gathering of friends, or a Sunday School class, or a missions committee…whoever might be interested! I’ve also recorded an update on our ministry that I’ve put on YouTube that you can forward to your friends if you’d like to share our ministry with them. Here’s the link to the video:

www.youtube.com/watch

I’m also including a link below where people can make donations, whether monthly or one-time, and whether online, by mail, or Electronic Funds Transfer. (Also, if you’d be interested in making a donation or increasing your monthly donation, you can just let me know by email anytime, and that will help me in our planning for next year.)

theranch.org/Make-A-Donation.359.0.html

I know some of you have already seen this presentation that I’ve posted on YouTube, but it still amazes me to think that we’re now reaching over 35,000 people every week by email with our messages from over 160 countries. If you’ve been following along with us over the years, you’ll know that I often end my prayer letters by saying, “And pray that God will draw people to The Ranch so He can draw people to Himself.” Wow! How God has answered those prayers! And we just keep on praying for more.

Here are a few of the emails that came in last few days from people who are grateful for the ministry. I thought I’d pass along their thanks to you for helping to make this ministry possible…

 

From Malaysia: “It’s a blessing that I am able to read your emails. Your word is so apt in its timing. Sometimes I wonder if God is saying something to me through you. Keep writing, you have a gift and I am so glad that you are using this gift to glorify Him. God Bless You.”

 

From India: “You will not remember me but you have prayed for me in the past and, for that, I thank you again. I am also a fairly regular visitor to your website and I receive your sermons from This Day’s Thought. I have a question for you. I am a Christian and my wife is a Hindu. I want to tell her about Jesus but don’t know how. How do I explain to her the joy in my heart and the courage and confidence that only my faith can provide? We do talk about it but I don’t seem to have the words to explain.”

From the UK: “You are so right about thinking of Jesus as a saviour and sometimes not having Him as Lord of our lives too. Today’s reading made me take stock of what you said, and I recommitted and surrendered my life afresh and asked Jesus to be Lord of my life also as well as being my saviour.”

From North Carolina: “Thanks for this site. It helps me a lot.”

 

Thanks for helping these–and many more–find their hope and answers in Christ!

On the home front, Lucas came home from Hillsong College in Australia last Wednesday night, and we’re glad to have him here for 8 weeks as he’s planning to go back again in January for his second year. We’re praying for him, too, as we’ve helped him as much as we can for his first year of school, and he’s worked as much as he can, too. But he doesn’t qualify for grants or student loans as the school is overseas, so it’s been an extra step of faith to send him over. He’s needing $6,800 in the next 4-5 weeks to pay for next year’s tuition and fees, which need to be paid up front in order to apply for another year of his student visa. He’s able to work over there to make up the rest of the money, but if you could pray for his funding, whether from gifts, grants, friends, or any other means, that would be terrific!

Karis is back home with us this year, taking her third-year college classes at Heartland College and working in Bloomington, so we’re thankful to have a full-house again for the next few weeks anyway. Makari is dancing in a Christmas show this weekend and the next. Josiah and Bo are in scouting and Kaleo is in dance and tumbling–all are working away at their homeschooling and enjoying life here in the country. Lana’s become quite a runner this year, running down the country roads, on the treadmill and even a 5K race to help orphans. (This isn’t meant to be a Christmas letter, but just thought you’d like a little glimpse of what life looks like around our house this month!)

That’s the update from here…thanks for reading and for praying for us. We truly appreciate it, and we know that God hears and answers your prayers on our behalf.

Love,
Eric and Lana Elder and family

P.S. Here are those links again to watch the YouTube video or to make a donation. Thanks for your prayers and forwarding these on if you know of others who might be interested!
www.youtube.com/watch

theranch.org/Make-A-Donation.359.0.html