Important Development:

As the entire world faces the coronavirus pandemic we share with you
from a friend who is very much alive, Pastor Jason Uptmore's message
Faith Through the Storm (Mark 4:35-41)
(c) Used by permission


To experience great and settling hope in these hard times

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A VERY SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Russell Kelfer 1933-2000

A Look Back (and possibly forward)
at the Ways and Works of an Incredible God
through an Ordinary Man


He being dead still speaks  (Hebrews 11:4)

 

 

 

 

 

Grandpa (Paw Paw) Kelfer, with granddaughter Lauren,
defined discipleship in only two words:


Show and Tell
(Exodus 18:20)

We invite you to join us in a journey to relate little known details
of how an extraordinary LORD used very ordinary people.


For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are mighty ...
(I Corinthians 1:26,27)

JUST SCROLL DOWN
to choose the path that interests you and make stops along the way.

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1.  What part did an accident play in re-directing Russell's life plan from becoming a journalist to being a tire salesman in the family business? How did he become a Bible teacher?  Click here to read about it.

2.  Whether you're already familiar with the lessons or are brand new and exploring new-to-you teachers, take our advice and order:

Stop What You're Doing. Climb the Mountain!
(First things first). Lesson #719B
Originally titled The Glory of His Presence

You'll want to ponder and mark the print copy sent to you free of charge by mail.  Click here to learn more.

3. Russell was so monotone a friend in church once turned around and asked him to stop singing. Then how come we are offering you a chance to listen to two brief songs here and now?  Click here.

4.  "Oh my dear. Three points and a poem again? Really."  To learn about how Russell's poem You Are Who You Are For a Reason ended up in Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, the world's top seller apart from the Bible; People's second favorite poem seems to be WAIT. To learn the unlikely way it, too, became a fully illustrated book and to read each poem, click here.

5.  First time ever offered publicly:  a special book developed as a certain group of approximately middle-aged men were called together to ponder what it would take to finish well and to evaluate where they were presently in their Christian walk. Includes Russell's own answers to the questions.  Click here.

6.  What 3 huge surprise projects were high points in God's plan? Click here to read.

7.  Anything new on the horizon?  Maybe. Click here to read about it.

8.  If you want to check out doctrinal and/or philosophy statements click here.

GOOD TO REMEMBER IN TIMES LIKE THE PRESENT: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17,18)  

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1.  The preview of "the Accident" is probably required to set the stage.  In high school, Russell majored in journalism and studied the required courses in English, of course.  He loved the journalism; the English he more or less tolerated. (One experience with his English teacher would probably give you an idea why that was.) He wrote a poem that was going to be sent by her to some national venue for high school students, and he used the word "trod" because it rhymed with God. He didn't really know God then, but seemingly his teacher did not really know every word in the English language, either.  She told him there was no such word as trod and to change it.  He didn't, but she proceeded to send it in anyway.  And lo and behold, the poem won some kind of big recognition.

But back to the journalism.  By the time he was a senior, he had become the Editor of the Jefferson Declaration and was dating his future wife.  Going to church with her every week must remain another story at this time, but doing the newspaper had him hooked. By the Fall after graduation, he was off to the University of Texas as the journalism major, fully intending to follow the path he had come to love. Newspapers.

In those days physical education was not an option but a requirement.  Another element to note is the fact Russell was born with eyesight in only one eye because one was damaged at birth as the doctor had to intervene to save his mother. An instrument caught the wrong part of him.  So to what wonderful sport was he assigned with sight in only one eye?  Handball, of course.

You guessed it.  Hit right in the blind eye by the ball on a Friday afternoon as the school clinic was closing. A little salve and a bandage applied, but terrific pain resulted in his being sent home for the weekend. By the Monday following he was seen by a specialist, but the intense pain was not letting up. And for much of his life, intermittent bouts with the pain never stopped, no matter how many "cures" were suggested and tried.

But the defining moment came when his advisor at the University finally told him that he might as well drop out of school because he could never do as much reading as school required.

The budding journalist enrolled instead in a couple of night courses about retail credit and went to work as the third generation in the tire store. End of formal education. But while still at the University, one Sunday afternoon while walking across campus by himself, he did serious business with Jesus Christ and became a devoted Christian.

So where did the Bible teaching come in?  A few years after marriage, a church they were attending asked him to go into the nearby "barrio" to work with some little boys about nine years old. It was a program vaguely like Cub Scouts, but it was teaching  from the Bible.  Sometime in those years the guy who had begun to mentor him invited him to make a mission trip with him to Jamaica where he was to preach his first sermon to people who would walk a couple of miles through the mountains to come to church meetings in a tent lighted by a Coleman lantern. He had been given outlines to preach for 5 nights.  His first sermon was so short his host informed him the people deserved to have at least a couple of hours before they had to walk home, so "speak longer tomorrow!" He used the other four messages the very next night and then had to come up with his own for the rest of the nights.

Little boys do grow up, and they also often bring along older or younger family members. Russell got to know families, and it eventually came to be that a group of both girls and boys began coming to his house to meet on Sunday nights. Somehow not long after he moved to a larger house, college and career type singles began to join the now Tuesday night get-togethers.  Local churches weren't doing anything special for that age then, and the joke has always been that the guys came for the girls and five cakes a week. Near the end of Tuesday nights at the Kelfer house, there were almost 150 people coming, although fortunately, not all at one time. They filled the rooms and the patio, most sitting on the floor where they could all see Russell and hear him in every room from a system of speakers he had devised. Then he was asked to teach an adult class at the little church where he was in lay leadership -- "just the same lesson you give on Tuesday night, and just for six weeks."

That six weeks stretched into more than 20 years. The five cakes ceased, but by then several of the kids in the group had married. And Tuesday nights soon became the time volunteers got together to send out Kelfer tapes and transcripts through the mail all over the place.  And day after day, Russell continued to read and read and read and study despite the dire predictions of his college advisor.

All of this simply went to prove one of Russell's favorite Scriptures:

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God  has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame  the wise ... that no flesh should glory in His presence. (I Corinthians 1:26-29)





 

 

 

2.  The Most Recommended Lesson:  We say how best to get it because it has recently been transcribed word for word. Russell was really a writer who "read his stuff" when speaking, and he always wrote these things on Thursday, gave them to the production office to print on Friday, and then taught them twice each Sunday morning. But that meant they weren't always exactly word for word as spoken in each class.

Stop What You're Doing. Climb the Mountain!
(First things first.)  Lesson
# 719-B
Original title The Glory of His Presence.


You'll have a keeper for sure if you ask us to mail you a printed copy when you call or email us to place an order.  Of course, you can also ask for a DVD and watch him teach this subject if you just aren't a reader. No matter which way you lean,


ALL MATERIALS SENT FROM DTM ARE FREE OF CHARGE
Call 1-800-375-7778 or email to <dtm@dtm.org>

 

 

 

 

3.  When the Singles Bible Studies were at the house on Tuesday nights, for a time the young people began the meeting with music and singing. It was great because the music was led by Russell's friend, Wink Kelso.

The only trouble was that people receiving the tapes of the lessons by mail thought it was Russell doing the singing, and he began to get notes of admiration.

We recently obtained MP3s of two of the original songs by Wink which once were out there on tape. The picture you see here of Follow Me was once taken by Russell's daughter, Kay, on a trip to the English countryside. It once served as a cover for an album of Wink's music on tape.

 

 

Listen now:

Why God Chose Me

Rest On The Waters

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. God often gave Russell poetry, even before he was a Christian. However, one or two poems seem to hit it off for a variety of people's situations. Before you go on to find a poem or two that become special to you, there are a couple of things that may interest you. Probably the most widely read poem is YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE FOR A REASON  because it appears in The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. His book is reputed to be the most widely read book outside the Bible, so people find You Are Who You Are in it.

Well, how did it come to be in the book?

The first time anyone ever asked permission to use it happened with a phone call from someone working on the project. He called the DTM office at a time Russell's widow was walking through, and she was handed the phone. Since she inherited the intellectual property, the decision was up to her. At the time, she had never heard of Rick Warren, so she simply tried to find out what the book was all about.  It sounded harmless, so she said okay.  Two or three years went by before it was found out by some friends of Russell's who were visiting Warren that his wife had been on the DTM mailing list, and she had given her husband the poem.

The second most asked for poem is WAIT.  Once again, it was "accidental" that the author of lovely children's books, but books not Christian in nature, was handed the poem by a friend, and she hung it on the refrigerator for a time. Right then she was feeling frustrated by the fact that a much-wanted third child just wasn't happening. Then the poem was shoved into a drawer.  Waiting continued. Finally, she dug it out of the drawer, and eventually she figured it would make a good subject for her artistic talent to illustrate.  Hmm, her lawyer advised, there must be an author out there somewhere, so you'd better research that and get permission.

Aha! There is an author, and you'd better call those people in Texas and see what happens. Again, Widow is visiting the production office, and staff tell her about the request. Before calling back, they decide to look at the woman's web site to see what they can find out. Nothing spiritual is evident, so the answer will probably be "no thank you", but the call-back is not answered.  Later in the day she is called again, but once again, no answer. It seems rude to just leave a "No" message on an answering machine, so she is asked to call the Widow Lady back at home.

When the call finally comes, there is still reluctance, so instead of an answer, the artist is asked to send samples of her work.

Good heavens! Almost overnight, copies of her outstanding books arrive, and there is no more doubt at all. By 2002 artist has found a publisher willing to work with her, and plans to introduce the book at a lady's meeting are in full swing.

In later years, she and her husband's publishing business took it over themselves and enlarged the size of the lovely book.  Today it is no longer in print, but some copies remain stored at DTM and are given out as special needs or people are sent along by the LORD.

The dear artist, Marianne R, once met in person in Minneapolis, soon became like a member of the Kelfer family. Her WAIT  for another child brought the hoped for little girl with the added bonus of a fourth child,  the third son.  All of the children are nearly grown, and the family no longer live in Minnesota.  But sadly, they don't live in Texas, either!




Click here now to read: "WAIT"

Click here now to read: "You Are Who You Are For A Reason"

Read More Poetry by Russell Kelfer

 

 

To own your own copy of the poem book called Follow Me
contact DTM by calling

1-800-375-7778
or emailing <dtm@dtm.org>

 

 

 

 

 5.  Finishing Well, pictured here, is that book we spoke of that can now be ordered for the first time. It recalls the meeting and conversation Russell had with special men at a special time in their lives. If it is the time for you or someone you know to be considering this subject, give us a call at:


1-800-375-7778
or email us at <dtm@dtm.org>


 

 

 

 

 

 

6. The Three Surprise Projects -- well, maybe we could count Four --  included founding and having built a World's Fair Pavilion; inheriting and developing a Christian School; and finding himself on the Radio every weekday.  Number four happened more from other people than from having to work on it himself, but having his work show up in Commercial Print probably qualifies also as a big surprise.

But we have a problem. Giving you the details and answered prayer after answered prayer in these categories falls into the movie theater vocabulary of Coming Soon.

There simply is not time enough right now to do justice to their huge importance in the lives of many people and to adequately honor the LORD for the incredible things that happened.

We must leave you with the promise of Coming soon to this web site. Please stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 


7. What's UP?   There's a possibility of putting up through another ministry a web site using all of the many lessons we already have translated into Russian across Russia itself. Please join us in prayer to see if that is something the Lord wants to happen.

 

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Since this is being posted during the time of the coronavirus pandemic, you may be finding that the novelty of having more quiet time while sequestered can mean spending more time with Him.

If we have resources that you would welcome, just give us a call.  As long as the post office is delivering, we'll be sending.

"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." -- Isaiah 41.13