News From The Ranch – July 2006

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Persevering to finish God’s work, summer speaking, Clover Ranch update

The result of perseverance: Thomas Edison's 1880 light bulb that finally succeeded after thousands of failed attempts.

The result of perseverance: Thomas Edison’s 1880 light bulb that finally succeeded after thousands of failed attempts.

Dear Friends,

If you’ve been waiting for answers to your prayers, you’re not alone! I want to encourage you today to persevere…God will honor your persistent prayers.

I’ve been working on and off for the past seven years writing a little book called“What God Says about Sex.” It’s only about 100 pages long, but I’ve found, like many others, that condensing a book into as few words as possible is often harder than writing everything we could possibly write on a topic.

Every time I’ve felt like I was getting close to completing it, I just didn’t feel like it conveyed what I was trying to convey. Many times I’ve felt like giving up, but I knew that I needed to press on. When working on other projects, I usually finally reach a point where I think, “That’s it! That’s just what I wanted it to look like!”

But after seven years, I just couldn’t get to that point, and I wondered if this time I might not get there. I didn’t know if it was still years away from finishing it, or if the end was just around the corner. A few months ago, I was at that point of questioning again if I’d ever be able to finish it when I was encouraged by a quote by Thomas Edison.

Edison had worked non-stop for several years trying to perfect the light bulb, experimenting with literally thousands of ideas for a filament that would burn bright enough to give off light, but last long enough to be practical in a common home.After testing more than 6,000 ideas for filaments, from bamboo to cedar to hickory, he finally landed on something that burned bright enough and long enough to work: carbonized cotton.

He finally patented his idea on January 27, 1880. The picture above is of one of his bulbs from 1880, and shows that it is almost identical to the bulbs used in millions of homes today, every day. Edison’s perseverance paid off, not only for him, but for all of us who have benefited from his perseverance (otherwise I’d have to type this email by candlelight!)

Edison’s quote that kept me going was this:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

I wondered if I was closer to being finished than I thought, so I pressed on. Within a few weeks, I finally finished the book, and I’m thrilled with the way it’s turned out.

I’ll share more with you about the book in the future, as I’m still praying about the best way to publish it. But for today, I just wanted to share my story and Edison’s story with you to encourage you to persevere in whatever God has called you to do.

Maybe you’re needing to persevere in praying for a family member, or co-worker, or friend to turn their life over to Christ. Maybe you’re needing to persevere in your in ministry or in your business. Maybe you’re needing to persevere in a relationship that God has ordained but that is currently struggling. Or maybe you’re needing to persevere in breaking off a relationship that God hasn’t ordained but that you’re struggling to give up.

Whatever God has put on your heart to do, do it! It’s the most loving thing you can do for yourself, for God and for others. Love and perseverance go together, as the Bible tells us in one of the most famous passages about love:

“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7).

Take heart from Thomas Edison! Take heart from my story! Take heart from the words of God in the Bible! You may be closer to success than you think!

Eric Elder

Summer Speaking

I was able to finish my book on “What God Says about Sex” in time to give a workshop on the topic at the national conference for Exodus International in June. The conference is specifically for those struggling with various sexual issues in their lives, including homosexuality and lesbianism, and for those who minister to others regarding their sexuality. Although the conference is over, you can still get a copy of my talk on CD for yourself, or for someone you know who might benefit from it. The CD’s are available from the company that taped the conference at this link (mine is the first workshop listed on the page):

Lana and I also got to speak several times in the past few months. Lana led the devotionals one morning for the youth from our church at a youth conference she attended in Tennessee with Karis and Lucas. Then Lana and I led several of the morning devotionals for a group of about 85 of us from Streator who spent 9 days camping together at the Cornerstone Music Festival. And Karis and Lucas joined us for speaking at two churches about our missions trip to Africa last March. It’s been a busy couple of months, but has been a great way to combine ministry time and family time!

Back at The Ranch

Clover Ranch LevelingBack at The Ranch website, we’re continuing with the final 15 lessons of a 50 lesson study through the book of Exodus. You can watch these half-hour videos which I upload each week to the website, or you can read a condensed text version which I send out to over 12,000 people weekly as part of the ministry of This Day’s Thought ( If you’re not yet receiving these weekly devotionals but would like to, you can sign up for them.

Back at the “real” ranch, our newly purchased Clover Ranch in central Illinois, we’re continuing to work on the house and the grounds. We’ll have a list in the future of special needs that you might want to help out with, and/or opportunities for you to come and visit yourself! But for now, we’d appreciate your prayers that God will give us His wisdom and vision for how best to develop the property into a place where people can seek God…and find Him.

Please Pray With Us

Father, thank You

  • for encouraging each of us to persevere and finish what You’ve put on our hearts,
  • for the chances we all have to speak about you to our friends, family, and those seeking Your answers to life’s questions,
  • And for helping the ministry of The Ranch reach out to people in person and over the Internet.

Father, we pray

  • for the perseverance to finish all that You’ve put on each of our hearts to do, including getting this book published to reach as many people as possible,
  • for wisdom as we convert Clover Ranch into a place that can draw people to You,
  • And that You would continue to help people find their way to The Ranch on the Internet so they can find their way to You.

We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thanks for your prayers!
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.
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