News From The Ranch – June 1998

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

A new baby, a speedy delivery, and “Does it matter how we live our lives?”

Josiah Graham Elder and family

Josiah Graham Elder and family

It’s a Boy!!!

We’re thrilled at the birth of our new son, Josiah Graham Elder!

He came quickly, as Lana will tell you in a minute. Our pastor said Lana was like the Hebrew women in the days of Moses who had their children so fast, the midwives couldn’t make it in time for the birth. (Exodus 1:19)

He has dark hair and dark eyes – he’s beautiful. He was born on May 21 at 7:27 p.m. He weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

We named him Josiah Graham after King Josiah in the Bible who served God with his whole heart, and Billy Graham who has lived his life with integrity and led many people to the Lord.

If you don’t remember much about King Josiah, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to read about him. He’s in the book of Second Kings, chapters 22 and 23. He became king at age eight and reigned thirty-one years. At the end of his life the Bible says this about him:

“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did — with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength…”

We pray that our Josiah will turn to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength as well.

Here’s Lana’s description of the birth. As you’ll see, she had a very…

Speedy Delivery

Towards the end of my pregnancy, Makari summed up how I was feeling. She kept saying, “I’m starving for the baby to come out!”

We were eating dinner one night and I started having contractions ten minutes apart. I thought we’d better pack up to go to the hospital, but I wasn’t sure. Just then my water broke so I knew we had to hurry.

We drove thirty minutes to the hospital and when we got there, the nurse said the baby was ready to come. Ten minutes later Josiah was born! We didn’t even have time to drop the kids off, so they were still in the room with us when Josiah was born, thrilled to finally see the baby.

I’m still amazed at the miracle of birth. Even though he’s our fourth child, all I can do is just stare at him. I really do appreciate your prayers for us and I’m thrilled to see the results. God is sooo good!

Internet Update

We’re still on target to complete the new web site, The Ranch, in the next few months. We’ve gotten much of the equipment we need to develop the site. We’ve installed the phone lines and will soon install the web server to begin our tests for the live broadcasts. Feel free to drop by over the next few months and help us test it out. The address is simply

On the financial side, we feel like we’re off to a good start, although we’re still very much in start-up mode. Some friends have loaned us some of the equipment we’re using, so we’ll need to purchase our own soon. We’ve also received several one-time gifts, but we still need a broad base of people to commit to support us on a monthly basis.

Billy Graham once had a man offer to underwrite his entire ministry, but he declined. He said he might lose thousands of prayer supporters as well, and without prayer, his ministry would go nowhere. We agree! A response card is enclosed if you would like to be part of this project. Please join us if you can!

Bringing Faith to Life

The Hall of Faith web site continues to generate a steady stream of people who write in for prayer and guidance. A woman from Canada asked a question that I think all of us ask from time to time. She wrote: “I find myself (at times) wondering if it really matters how we live our lives. We are, after all, all sinners whether Christian or not. So does it matter how I live my life?”

I wrote back and shared with her some of the reasons God says it matters, but I sensed there was still something missing from my reply. One night God shared with me the missing piece.

I was at the copy shop late one night working on the paper for The Ranch. I was wearing down, feeling all alone at the back of the store and tired from a long day. The store was about to close and I was discouraged that after all my work, I still wasn’t done.

Then, from behind me, I faintly heard singing: “You’re just too good to be true…”

I turned to look over my shoulder … it was a song on the store’s PA system, but somehow the words were directed at me! “Can’t take my eyes off of you…” I looked again and thought, “God, is that you?!?”

Then, as if in answer to my question, the chorus rang out:

And if it’s quite alright I need you baby,
To warm a lonely night,
Don’t ever leave me baby,
Please don’t leave me!”

God was singing to me! I laughed as I listened to Him sing the rest of the song to me, not sure if I could believe it was really Him. But then I remembered a verse in the Bible that says, “the Lord your God will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) He really was singing to me!

Then He spoke to my heart: “Eric, there’s so much junk going on in the world that when I see someone following me and doing what I want them to do, it brings a smile to my face. You may feel like what you do doesn’t make any difference, but it does. You may feel all alone, but you’re not. I’m right here with you. I can’t take my eyes off of you. What you’re doing brings me great joy!”

I don’t always choose to do what God wants me to do. But God showed me that He rejoices whenever any of us make that choice. My attitude changed for the rest of the night. I had a smile on my face. I got a second wind and thought of the verse, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) Knowing that He took joy in what I was doing gave me strength to go on.

And I remembered the woman in Canada asking, “Does it matter how I live my life?” You bet it does.

Not only will you be blessed, but it puts a smile on the face of God. The Bible says: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) And just maybe we’ll get to hear him sing to us again, “I LOVE YOU BABY!”

Please Pray with Us

Thank you Lord,

  • for loving us and rejoicing over us with singing!
  • for the safe and healthy birth of Josiah Graham,
  • for the funds to start this ministry,

And Lord, we now ask:

  • for the rest of the start-up funds for this ministry,
  • for a broad base of ongoing support,
  • for people to find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Lord bless you! Have a great day!

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