News From The Ranch – December 2007

The Newsletter of Eric Elder Ministries

Missions Trip Update, “Jesus: Lessons In Love” now in paperback, New Hymns CD, and a move!

Jean Barling (left) and Lana Elder at Clover Ranch. Jean is a former interior designer who came from England this fall to help us redesign Clover Ranch, a new retreat center we're renovating in Central Illinois.

Jean Barling (left) and Lana Elder at Clover Ranch. Jean is a former interior designer who came from England this fall to help us redesign Clover Ranch, a new retreat center we’re renovating in Central Illinois.

Dear Friends,

It’s been awhile since I’ve sent any news from The Ranch — not because there hasn’t been any, but because there’s been so much! Here’s a brief look at what’s been going on this year.

Missions Trip

We had a great missions trip to England in February, a country where surprisingly only about 8% of the population attends church regularly. Thanks to your prayers and gifts, our team of eight was able to spend a week with a church in Tunbridge Wells, giving their building a face lift, and giving us all a “faith lift.” We continue to pray that their church will be a light in their community, reaching the many who still need to put their full trust and faith in Christ.

Clover Ranch Renovation

Besides getting the repairs done at the church in England, we were blessed in return in August when one of their members came to live here in the States for two months at Clover Ranch, a retreat Center we’re renovating. Jean Barling (pictured above on the left with Lana) is a former interior designer and helped us completely remodel the kitchen and bathroom, as well as get us started on many other projects around the house. With the help of dozens of volunteers and a few hired hands, we’ve been able to clean out the whole house, put on a new roof, replace all the windows, redo the plumbing, and start replacing some old wiring. We’re not done yet, but we’re well on our way to towards getting it open for guests to come and grow in their relationship with Christ. Thanks to all who came and helped!

New Devotional!

Jesus: Lessons In Love Front CoverBack at The Ranch website, I’ve finished a new book this year called Jesus: Lessons In Love. It’s a compilation of thirty devotionals I’ve written, based on the book of Matthew, and designed to help people read their Bibles and apply what they’re reading to their everyday lives.

These devotionals were sent out each week to over 17,000 people, some who signed up for the devotionals after visiting The Ranch website, and others who subscribed from another Internet ministry that I help run called This Day’s Thought ( It was great to hear back from people each week from various parts of the world about how these messages touched their lives, like these…

“I just had to let you know your article ‘Love is Prepared’ is absolutely beautiful. I found my eyes welling with tears. May I share this with our readers in an upcoming edition of the paper?” Susan in Virginia

“What a wonderful message I really needed to read this morning.” Carol in New Mexico

“This is truly a blessing. I really need to know more about giving my all to God and serving him honestly and completely!” Suzan in South Africa

“Thank you. Very encouraging” Muleba

“…Thank you Eric. All day today I’ve been trying to figure out how I could manage things better so that I can get just the basic things done. But now that I’ve read this I know what the problem is. I’ve been trying to manage things, I need to spend more time with God and let him worry about how I get things done. I knew this before but for some reason I wasn’t doing it. God bless you and your family!” Misty in Illinois

“Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Your have quoted some of my favorite Bible verses that share my beliefs about what Christians should be more like.” Leng in Texas

“Hey Eric, Always a blessing to receive your messages brother! Keep up the good work.” Len in Canada

“Thank you so much for the message of forgiveness.” Simeon

“Hi Eric, Thank you for your reminder of some of the ways we can bring our friends to Jesus . . . blessings in your ministry.” Judi

“Eric, This is an EXCELLENT summary of the Book of Matthew and a vital guide at living our lives. I’m printing this out and keeping it in my Bible as reference point for checking my motives. Thank you so much for your anointed wisdom throughout this series.” Al in California

If you missed reading the devotionals, or want to re-read them or give them to a friend, you can order copies of this book in paperback for less than $10 each, or as a downloadable book to read on your computer for just $2.50. It makes a great devotional to help you — or your friends — get started with reading the Bible again in the New Year. To request a copy of the book, or any of our other devotionals, just visit:

New Hymns CD!

Hymns Front CoverI’ve also just finished uploading a new CD to The Ranch website. It’s a collection of classic hymns that I helped produce and record for my sister, Marilyn Byrnes. The Hymns CD includes beautiful versions of your favorite hymns like “The Lord’s Prayer,” “What a Friend We Have In Jesus,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “Immortal, Invisible” (my favorite song on the CD). You can listen to it anytime day or night on The Ranch website at this link.

And if you’d like to get the music on CD for yourself or your friends, you can still order copies in time for Christmas up until December 12th. The CD’s are only $10.50 each, and can be ordered from the link below. (And if you need more gift ideas, you’ll find about 15 gift ideas from The Ranch at this link, too, all in the form of an inspirational book or CD…and all for less than $15 each!):

We’re Moving!

Lastly, we’ve been praying for some time now about possibly moving back to Lana’s hometown of Peru, Illinois (about 40 minutes northwest of where we live now). Lana’s parents have moved into a smaller house, so we would be able to move into their larger house. This move would give us more room as well as get us closer to them so we could help take care of them both. We’ve been working on the house and getting it ready for the move, which we hope to make by the end of the year. We’d appreciate your prayers during this transition.

Thanks again for all your prayers, encouragement and support for our ministry this year, not only on behalf of Lana and myself, but also on behalf of the visitors who are touched daily by it…like this one who wrote:

“I just ran across your web site about ‘how to know you’re going to heaven’ (a video message recorded for us by Bill Allison). I said your prayer and truthfully meant it with all my heart. My prayers have been answered. Thank you for that prayer to God. Now I know I will go to heaven. Thank you.” Mark

We truly appreciate all of you whose hearts are joined with us in this work. If you’d like to make a year-end donation, you can use this link:



  • Thank You for allowing us to work on building Your kingdom through missions trips and projects like Clover Ranch,
  • Thank You for teaching us so much in the Word of God that is helpful to us and others,
  • And thank You for the blessing of music that helps bring us peace in our frequently chaotic world.


  • We now pray that You would use each of these projects to draw people closer to You,
  • That You would smooth over all the things that need to happen before and during our move to Peru
  • And we pray that still more people find their way to The Ranch so they can find their way to You.

We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Merry Christmas!
Eric Elder

To request copies of the Hymns CD, or the devotional Jesus: Lessons In Love,please visit:
To make a one-time or monthly donation, visit:
Make a Donation
To read about our ministry, visit:
About Eric Elder Ministries

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.

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.

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