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Vicki Kentucky October 16, 2015

My brother and his wife were adopting a child from a young woman that I know. They came to Kentucky, from Chicago, as the birth mother went into labor. She had a beautiful baby girl!

The day that my brother and sister-in-law were ready to take the baby home from the hospital, the birth father’s mother (the grandmother) showed up and let them know that she “would be taking the baby home” and that there was no way that they were going to adopt her grand-daughter.

As you can imagine they were very worried about how this would all end. When the attorney called the birth father he refused to sign the papers because his mother threatened to throw him out of the house if he did.

After having the baby for 5 days, they had to return her to her birth mother-which devastated our family! We were all so broken hearted…that baby was our family…we loved her with all of our hearts.

My brother, sister-in-law, the birth mother, and I all prayed for God’s will in this and if it meant that the baby was to be with her birth mother then we would continue to love them both and help them in anyway that we could. The birth mother was NOT a Christian and it was amazing to be able to pray with her.

As you can imagine there were moments of questioning God and even anger at the situation as well as at Him. My brother and I put in the song “Strong Tower” and played it over and over for the week following the return of the baby to her birth mother. Focusing on the lyrics of “Strong Tower” helped us to get past the hurt and anger and lean on the one true Strong Tower for our strength.

In the middle of my darkness
In the midst of all my fear
You’re my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
And the thunder’s all I hear
You speak softly to my soul

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me
Beautiful and mighty
Everlasting King
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I’m weak
Your name is true and holy
And Your face is all I seek

WOW! How those words brought us comfort and strength!!!

One week later, the birth father signed the adoptions papers and my brother and sister-in-law came back to Kentucky to pick up their daughter. Isn’t God awesome?!?!?!?!?! How blessed we are that He worked it for the good of all and that during it all He drew the birth mother into a relationship with Him and that not only do we have a new m

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Darlene Hotaling November 3, 2015

First time I heard the song Even If, my thoughts went to my friend Cindy who passed away from cancer on March 11, 2010. She was a strong believer and I know she is with our Father. Music has helped me get through the tough times. Especially music from you guys. I had a hard time for a while struggling with the fact that god didn’t heal my friend. I know he is the ultimate healer. my faith, friends and music helped me great through the darkest year I have ever had. I can look back and know that god has a bigger plan for me. His ways are not mine and I have to trust in him. – Darlene Hotaling

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Mike Brentwood, CA November 3, 2015

I have been a believer and Christian from a very young age. Baptized at Nine years old and raised on the fundamentals of the Holy Bible. In my Teens, I fell away due to drugs, fornication and basically a secular Lifestyle. As I grew older and wiser, GOD was always there, on the Backburner. I basically believed but wanted to do my will, not God’s. I am now in my 30’s. Drugs and sex are a thing of the past, although I was not close to GOD. A Christian co-worker gave me an extra copy of “Strongtower” and thought I might like it. After listening the first time I was floored. This music was fresh, hip, contemporary, heavy , rockin and uplifting. I absolutely loved it. Searching on itunes one night I found a double album of “Hearts & Strongtower”. Needless to say I was listening a lot to this whenever I wanted to hear some positive uplifting music. At this time I was still listening to my secular music, feeling empty afterward. Recently, I was on Itunes and saw “to know that you’re alive” and immediately downloaded the album. I didn’t care about listening to one song, I knew it was going to be awesome. Your new album is your best yet and is beyond great. Well, this sparked a renewed interest in Kutless and soon I was watching videos on Youtube, downloading your original album as well as “Sea of Faces”. The Holy Spirit began to speak to me through your glorification of GOD in music. I am now in a great church, attend a Bible study weekly, listening to nothing but Christian artists & READING MY BIBLE NIGHTLY!!! This was not the me I had previously known. Very out of character. I began to have fellowship with the six Christians at work and I am transformed. GOD has finally nabbed me and I am his. Kutless……. every band member, new and old, I want to thank you for being true to yourselves. Thank you for your musical testimonies. I will always regard Kutless as my favorite band to listen to when I need to relate or glorify the living GOD. You guys are amazing and I thank GOD for you. GOD BLESS KUTLESS! GOD has changed my life and he used your band as a tool to help shape this transformation. Thank you. Mike-Brentwood,CA.

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Celeste Portland, OR November 3, 2015

I just wanted to send a message to the guys thanking them for the impact they had on Chelsea’s final days. Childhood cancer sucks, especially when you learn it’s termimal. My girl was amazing – though she did have many rough days. On those rough days she held tight to her memories of meeting you… and her anticipation to see you again was one of the few things that she got excited about. I can’t tell you the hours that your encouragement impacted. Thank you for that. Her last days, she begged me to invite you all to a bbq. Had she been physically up for it, I probably would have – I would have done anything to make every moment count for her…. Her favorite song that you did was “Take Me In”. Our last night with Chelsea was very difficult – much worse than I had anticipated. It wasn’t peaceful, and as the hours passed on, I felt myself getting more and more angry with God. I had heard so many stories of people passing – and the peace they had. It was very confusing for me, for I wondering how God could use such a painful, gut wrenching time for good. Why couldn’t she peacefully fade off to sleep like so many others? I still don’t understand, but I do trust that His ways are not our ways. So almost 15 hours later, my baby suffocating in my arms – the Lord finally revealed Himself, and He used you. During the night, I had sung a worship song to her. I wanted to sing it again, and I couldn’t remember the words. It was so hard, because I just wanted to comfort my girl – and the words wouldn’t come. But then the Lord reminded me of her love for “Take Me In”. I held her, her lips pressed against my cheek, and sang it over and over. Each time I came to the words, “Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am ” I would kiss her on the lips. I could tell from the first time I sang it through that it was bringing her much comfort. Of course, I sang it over and over and over – kissing her each time. This went on for a while, and the Lord spoke and told me when to just sing that last verse over and over. As I sang, the Lord reminded me about what that last verse means – how we are cleansed by Christ. He reminded me of all the conversations that Chels and I used to have – where she would confess all her junk, worried that she wasn’t saved. I realized that we hadn’t had one of those conversations in a couple of months. Like me, Chelsea was good at stuffing things. The Holy Spirit moved powerfully, and I was able to remind Chelsea that it didn’t matter how many mistakes she made, how many bad thoughts, how imperfect she was…. she was saved and Jesus loved her so much. I could feel her relax in my arm – and her breaths continued to grow further and further apart. The Lord met me, her and Jeff so powerfully. I realized it was drawn out, because she wasn’t ready. My baby, who didn’t like to spend the night at people’s homes because she would get home sick, who wouldn’t go to camp for the same reason…. she even dragged her feet going to Heaven! After singing and talking I prayed – and with my final words, “Jesus, I give my baby to you” she took her last breath.

Thank you for doing that song. Thank you for visiting my girl, for praying for us. Chelsea was sweet – she was very concerned about not “idolizing” you as a typical teenager would… but she sure looked up to you and enjoyed your music. Because of that, you will always hold a special place in my heart. I consider you friends – though we may not even meet again until that great day in Heaven. I will continue to lift you up – prayer for you, your families, your ministry. Of course, we used that song on the Memorial slideshow. I can send you a copy if you’d like. Press on guys. God is using you mightily. Your sis in Him, ~Celeste

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Amy Burchell November 3, 2015

Hey Guys, My name is Amy Burchell and I am a huge Kutless fan and have been able to see you guys in concert several times. Like many other fans, I have felt the impact of many of your songs in my life, but the hardest hitting one is “Even If.” Back in March of 2009, I lost my oldest sister and my nephew. They were murdered by my brother-in-law. he only got 8 years in a mental institution. I can’t even begin to explain the pain I felt and how betrayed I felt. Since then, I have struggled in my faith and it has been a constant whirlwind of up and downs in my faith. However, at the time that Believer came out I was in one of my extreme low points. Nothing was going right in my life (or so it seemed) and I did not see any real chance of change. I became depressed and I shut down. All I could think about was how much pain I felt, which lead to me nearly losing my job and failing out of college. Somehow, though God must have known what I needed to hear, because believer came out and my dad brought it for me. I listened to the CD and when I heard “Even If” I had to play it again. I prayed and peace came over me. I was also reminded of a scripture I had studied in Bible class when I was when High School. Revelation 21:4 , “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” With this verse, I was reminded that one day I wouldn’t hurt anymore and I would see them again. In a manner of speaking, your song helped bring me back to life and to me to my knees so God could use his word to speak to me. Your music still brings me to that place. It is truly a blessing. May God continue to bless all of you!

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Jennifer Linnabary November 3, 2015

Hello my name is Jennifer Linnabary and I had the pleasure of meeting with you last year back stage when you were in Cincinnati at the Underground. I was unable to attend the concert due to restrictions from my Stem Cell Transplant. At that time I shared with you my battle with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. I mentioned that the two songs that got me through some rough times were “What Faith Can Do” and “I’m StillYours.” Since our meeting I have struggled through many medical and physical challenges. I am told that I almost died twice. I cannot walk as my femoral nerve in my left leg was damaged. However, God’s extraordinary grace has kept me here. During these times the only music that would soothe me was yours. It was during this time that I first heard “Even If”. I have to be honest and say the words stung when I first heard them but now they bring me comfort. I know that physical and/or medical healing may never come but I continue to sing His praises. I would not trade this journey for anything as I know He is the Good and Faithful one who is working through me. I have seen miracles happen around as people come together to pray for my healing. My family that was once estranged agreed to set aside differences. My sister who has not opened a Bible in years is now sending me daily Bible verses. My Church (which has rallied behind me from the beginning) has been humbled and awed by seeing God in action. I could go on and on…..I truly know that God tenderly loves me and daily I rest in who He is! – Jennifer Linnabary

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Teresa October 16, 2015

Several years ago, when I was 43, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and signs of insulin resistance (pre-diabetic). I was prescribed medications to protect me from more serious conditions, but these drained my stamina. Already struggling with fatigue related to being over-weight, I was forced to take afternoon naps and lacked the energy I needed to be a good parent to my children. I felt extremely old and feared I was also becoming depressed.

I began trying to eat more sensibly (smaller portions, lower fat and fewer carbs) and was very excited about my next doctor’s visit because I had lost 16 lbs. But the doctor told me it was not enough and she planned to increase my medications to protect me from heart attack and stroke. I cried and pleaded with her to give me another chance to make changes before increasing my medications. She agreed, but I felt so defeated, and by the time I arrived home, I was sobbing and at a breaking point before God. I needed to begin exercising and as I sobbed God met me in my brokenness and encouraged me. He gave me the shot of inspiration I needed by challenging me to become who He had created me to be.

Still, exercise was not pleasant…in fact it was painful, because I was still heavy. It was difficult too because of the drug induced fatigue I was fighting. But God again gave me what I needed to spur me on to beat the odds and this is where Kutless comes into the formula for my victory. After hearing the single, “Sea of Faces” playing on our local Christian radio station I was compelled to purchase the CD. The words were deep and powerful and reminded me just how important I am to God. As I listened I found the lyrics to many of the songs to be like a prayer…not unlike my own cries for God to help me through these health related struggles. While song lyrics connected me with God, the driving music gave me the sense of “fight” I needed to get out and run/walk every day. I became empowered in the challenge God had given to me and became filled with the hope and assurance that nothing is impossible with God.
I purchased the self-titled CD and found fresh motivation to finish out my summer of exercising and eating right. Exercise time became an extension of my quiet time with God. It was pure joy and the part of my day when I put my faith and trust into action and pushed myself hard. I was stretched and challenged by this time with God, without the other distractions of life, and while listening to Kutless. Your God inspired words of faith and hope ministered to my soul.

I grew tremendously in my faith as God transformed me spiritually and physically. As evidence of His work…my size dropped from Women’s 16 to a Junior size 5! Truly a miracle of God! My blood pressure is now in safe ranges, using only the smallest dose of medication to keep it in check. My doctor pulled all of the cholesterol and the diabetic medications I was taking. She even went as far as to describe me as “poster girl” for “cleaning up my lifestyle”. None of this could have been accomplished without God’s grace and the motivation I found through your music.

In the autumn of that victorious year, I had opportunity to attend my first Kutless concert. I was so blessed to see each of you perform in person, and that evening, Kutless went from being a band I listened to in my CD player while exercising, to being real and very special people who I pray for daily and keep tabs on as if you were family.

God has and will continue to use each of you in mighty ways…of that I can and do testify. God was able to meet me in the midst of your music and effect great changes that still amaze those who knew me before this transformation and who see me now. Kutless continues to be my motivation as I seek to increase my fitness level and remain healthy and free from medications!

God bless you as you continue to represent Him well!

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Dave Tampa, FL November 3, 2015

Through the grace of God, I was raised in a Christian home. Growing up in the church taught me the “right” way to live my life, unfortunately I didn’t want to listen. I decided that I did better at running my life than God did. Rejecting all that I have been brought up, I lived my life to the “world’s” standards. Directly after I graduated high school I joined the United States Marine Corps. Continuing to reject the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart, my life was filled with temptation that I didn’t fight. Unfortunately in 2003, I was injured while serving in Iraq. In the blink of an eye I had lost everything. I lost my career, my marriage, and my way of life. The only thing that I did not loose, but didn’t realize it, was the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. I battled with health issues and depression for a long while. One day, I was driving in the car and I was listening to secular music, which I realized wasn’t helping my situation. I decided to turn the station to our local radio station and I heard for the first time “Strong Tower” by Kutless. As I listed to the lyrics of the music, literally through the Holy Spirit my life changed. I realized what I was missing in my life. A few songs after that I heard “Offering” by Third Day. It was like a slap in the face by God telling me to wake up. It was GREAT! After that, I started faithfully doing my quiet time for the first time in my life. Shortly after that, I handed over “the reigns” of my life to Jesus Christ. Since then, every day has been an amazing blessing. I might not have a day where my injuries don’t cause me pain, but for once in my life I have True Joy! I am able to live every day for God’s glory. Once I opened my eyes and saw that God had an awesome plan for my life, he started to open doors. I recently founded my own Christian non-profit organization in which God has led me to attempt to share His Word throughout the world. I want to thank Kutless and reassure Christians out there that God does loves and has an awesome plan for each and everyone of us. We just have to let go and believe that He IS our “Strong Tower”. Thank you for allowing me to share my testimony with you; God bless you. Dave Tampa, FL

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Linda Shepard November 3, 2015

My story is like so many people, a fifteen marriage broken. My divorce was final 5-9-07 everyone involve has moved on except me. When you sang about God’s ways not our own I understand. I had to lose everything I thought I valued in order to see the relationship God want to have with me. By his unconditional love God has showed me true love. My faith in him has opened my eyes to a new way to live. Forgiveness starts with me & not to be carried to the next generation. People will hurt us & we will hurt people. God loves us Even if…We must learn to love other unconditional otherwise we cheat ourselves in this life God is rebuilding my life Please keep singing songs of faith. The words to a song can help you move on. What faith can do is still my favorite. – Linda Shepard

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Tina Fischer November 3, 2015

I wanted to share with you our very emotional and what I believe is very inspirational story. I think it is a true testament to not only the power of faith, but the power of music as well.

My husband and I found out in April of last year that we were going to be having a baby. Our first together, but we both have children from previous marriages so in total, it was our 8th! From the beginning, the pregnancy was not smooth sailing. We decided early on that if this baby was a girl her name would be Faith Elizabeth and if it was a boy he would be Riley James. Being a mom, I was about 99% sure from the start it was a girl. We kind of adopted the song What Faith Can Do as the babies song. When we went for our first doctor’s appointment they did an ultrasound and could not see a heartbeat. I was an emotional mess. My husband, being the amazing and strong man that he is reminded me that God would take care of us and we had to have faith. A week later we went for another ultrasound and we saw that precious heartbeat as strong as could be. At 20 weeks we had an ultrasound and found out that we were having a girl, our little Faith Elizabeth. A week later, we found out that I had an abnormal result for quad-screen, which indicated that the baby could have Down’s Syndrome. Again, I was an emotional mess at first and again my husband reminded me that everything happens for a reason and that it was all in God’s hands. We went for another, more detailed ultra-sound to look for any signs or markers for Down’s. Everything looked perfect. Our Faith was as perfect as could be. A few weeks later, at 24 weeks, I started to show signs of pre-term labor. A test showed that I had a 20% chance of delivering in the next 2 weeks. The doctor put me on bed rest and started steroid shots to strengthen Faith’s lungs. Again, me an emotional mess, but getting a lot better about giving it to God (thanks once again to my husband) and knowing that he would take care of us, like he has through this whole time. Two weeks later, another ultrasound showed that my cervix was normal and preterm labor was not happening. I am thinking, ok we got all that out of the way, we should be smooth sailing from here on out, right? Boy was I wrong! At 35 weeks, I went in for a normal check up and the doctor noticed that Faith had not yet turned to be head down. She told us that we still had time for her to turn, but that she might not. She was preparing me for the possibility of having to have a c-section. After much thought and prayer, my husband and I decided to go ahead with the c-section and it was scheduled for December 21st. On the morning of the 21st, we made our way to the hospital. At the hospital they put an IV in me, drew blood and then tried to start the spinal to numb me for the surgery. The anesthesiologist was having a lot of trouble placing the spinal and decided she would call for back-up. While she was doing that, my doctor decided to do one more ultrasound just to make sure Faith hadn’t turned to the head down position. I am very glad she did. Our little gymnast had flipped and there was no need for a c-section anymore. Because I was only 38 weeks along, they didn’t want to induce me yet, so they sent us home. At my next check-up, my doctor scheduled an induction for the following Monday, December 27th. On the morning of the 27th, once again we wake up early and checked in to the hospital. When we get settled into our birthing room, the nurses come and hook me up to all the monitors and check on the baby. Our little gymnast had flipped again and was once again breech! My doctor had not yet arrived for the day, so the nurses decided to just keep monitoring me and wait till the doctor came in. We would decide when the doctor came in if we wanted to do the c-section or try to manually turn the baby. Three hours later, my doctor arrives and checks me over only to find that our little gymnast had flipped again! The doctor broke my water and labor was underway. Our perfect little blessing was born at 5:03 pm on December 27th weighing in at 7 lbs 3 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

The next morning, after a wonderful night of with this perfect little angel, the doctor came in with some unexpected news. The nurse had taken Faith to the nursery to give her some shots and noticed that her lips were a little bit blue and she looked what they called ‘dusky.’ The doctor hooked her up to a pulse-ox monitor and her oxygen saturation, which should be in the high 90’s, was in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s. Faith’s pediatrician ordered an echo-cardiogram and they moved her to the NICU. The initial Echo didn’t show any abnormality but the cardiologists wanted to see a couple more images. For a few hours we were thinking, ‘oh, maybe this is just a false alarm, like everything else up to this point really has been.’ It took all day to get the 2nd Echo results and when they did come, our worst fear was confirmed. Faith had a heart defect. At that time, the Echo showed that her tricuspid valve was not working at all. The hospital we were at was not equipped to handle an infant cardiac patient so Faith was transferred via ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee Wisconsin. A transport team was sent from Milwaukee to the hospital we were at. Around 10 pm that night Faith was on her way to Milwaukee and my husband and I finished the discharge process for me to leave the hospital and left the hospital about 10 minutes after Faith. The first song that came on the radio after we got in the car was What Faith Can Do. My husband and I both started crying and he looked at me and said, ‘she’s going to be ok!’ Then he went on to tell me that before we left the hospital he said a prayer and in that prayer he said that if we heard Faith’s song at all on the way to Milwaukee, it would be a sign that she was going to be fine. When he told me that, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my chest and I knew without a doubt that she was going make it through this. When we arrived at Children’s Hospital, a pediatric cardiologist was performing another Echo on Faith and determined that her tricuspid valve wasn’t really the problem. She had an extra flap of tissue above the valve that was blocking flow to the lower right side of her heart. They gave her medication and tried to see if she could push through that tissue on her own. After a few days, they decided that she was going to need surgery. While she was in the hospital, we had the lyrics ” I’ve seen miracles just happen Silent prayers get answered Broken hearts become brand new, That’s what Faith can do!’ on a board in her room. When ever I got discouraged or started worrying I would look at those words and sing Faith’s song to her. When Faith was 8 days old, she underwent open heart surgery to remove that tissue. The doctors were all very encouraging and told us that if we had to choose a heart defect that this would be the one you would choose. It was a pretty straight forward surgery, but it was still open heart surgery on a newborn! The surgery went better than anyone could have expected, and right after surgery, her oxygen saturation was up to 98%!

Everyday while she was in the hospital my husband and I would leave for a few hours to get lunch or whatever to preserve our sanity. Everyday at some point while we were away from the hospital, Faith’s song would come on the radio. Everyday when her song came on, we would both cry, not because we were afraid or sad, but because we knew that she was going to be fine. We knew that God would take care of her. On Thursday, January 13th, (9 days after surgery) Faith was released from the hospital with a clean bill of health. She is now 6 weeks old and other than the small scar on her chest, you would never know that she was born with a heart defect. The doctors have told us there will be no lasting effects from the surgery and the only restriction they have placed on her is that she can never play tackle football.

Everyday I look at this little miracle that God has given us and I thank him. As painful as this whole thing has been, I know that it could have been so much worse and I know it has taught me some very valuable lessons about what is really important in life. I know that God works in mysterious ways and we might not understand his plan, but he does and that’s all that matters. Looking back now we understand why Faith was not born on the 21st. If I had had the c-section as originally planned, we don’t know if the defect would have even been found and if it had I would not have been able to be discharged to go with her to Milwaukee. Also, we would have been in Milwaukee at the hospital for Christmas, instead of at home with all of our kids. God is good and even with everything that has happened the last 6 weeks, I know that I am truly blessed. And now, Faith has one heck of a testimony that she can share with the world.

Thank you~

Tina Fischer