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

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

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.)

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