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.


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:

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:


Speaking of websites, I’m putting the finishing touches on the KidsRanch website at 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 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.


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 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 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.

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