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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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David Eaton, OH November 3, 2015

I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Kutless by my best friend Dylan in 2002. It was the first album. I got addicted right away. Being with my friend Dylan however, was my only way and source of knowing God, and church. My family didn’t go and the only way I could go, or listen to anything Christian was to hang out with Dylan. Dylan and I spent all of our high school years together. Dylan always kept me on the straight and narrow. He was a good accountability partner that way. We were always in church because we were crazy about our youth group and just crazy for praise and worship. As the years went on and I graduated the year before Dylan in 2003 from Eaton Ohio, I moved onto college. Once their at Miami University, I got INSTANTLY drafted into the party life. Dylan and I soon drifted. I loved college for the simple fact of beer and women. It became my life. I would go to class all week, work on weekdays, and party all weekend. (Like it was 1999) I would sober up enough to go to church on Sundays. Church mainly became a social even for me and some of the people I went with, I was with on Saturday night partying with. It was almost like a club we had going. I eventually left college to join a police academy. I would still drink all weekend long and try anything that came my way. Apart from all that, I was in 5th in my police academy class out of a class of 78. I had a sit down with my instructor one day and he told me, “Dave, with your eyesight the way it is….you can continue on with the academy, but I want you to know, you may never get hired.” I was discouraged. I left, came back home, and hit the bottle harder then ever before. I immediately got a job as a delivery driver and my drinking went up from their. In a time span of two years (2003-2005) I was getting drunk on a daily basis to wear it was breakfast, lunch and dinner. I never knew, or saw that by leaving the only Godly influence in my life that it could destroy me. Driving home drunk one night on a back country road, I was looking for a CD. Just anything really to keep my alertness up and concentration. I stumbled upon the first album of Kutless. The funny thing was, I never remembered putting that CD in my truck. Almost as if God planned for this night to happen and put the CD in my truck for me. Flipping through the songs on the seek button like I was trying to keep a beat, I stopped on “Vow”. Hearing those lyrics like it was the first time all over again, “Another year has come and gone, and nothing has changed. I’ve wasted another year, doing the same old thing” I had to stop my truck….and cry. After that night, all I could do was listen to the song “Vow.” I drove my self to church that very next day in a suite and tie. Something I hadn’t done in a loooong time. The whole way their I was shouting, yelling, beating on the steering wheel (If it were alive, I probably would’ve knocked it out) singing along and feeling new! It was the best high of my life! Better then any beer, girl, belonging or substance could bring me. I was for the first time in over a year, alive! It was October 22, 2005. The day, and the year, I was born again. I recommitted myself to the Lord. As the lyrics go on….”I’m crying out to you now as I make my new years vow, I’ll tell you I love you and I honor you, somehow. hear my promise to you in my new years vow I give you all of me, you’ll be all of my life and I’ll never think twice to do all that you have for me, in my new years vow”, that became my prayer and my pledge. Its every day that is a gift and should not be taken for granted. And every day is a year ago from that day. I’ll NEVER forget my prayer, my pledge I made that night. That song has touched my life and became my corner stone to recommit to God. Thank you so much Kutless for listening to God and for for spreading the word through your music. It has blessed my life time and time and again. Because of the grace of God intervening in my life that night with your music, I was delivered from addiction. Thank you, and God bless. With much love, Dave Mitchell. Eaton Ohio. _________________________________________

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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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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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Emily Greenwood November 3, 2015

My name is Emily Greenwood; I am such a hard-core Kutless fan that if we were standing face to face right now, I am sure you would recognize me. I became a Kutless fan when I was in seventh grade in 2004; and I have gone to at least one kutless a year since then. I am now 21 years old and going into my third year of college. I hope my testimony encourages you guys. The song, “Even If” is the story of my life. I was born with cerebral palsy, which is a brain injury that occurs shortly before or after birth. Cerebral palsy inhibits muscle function and leaves me unable to walk. As a young child I had many questions like; “Why would God not give me the ability to walk?” In addition to having cerebral palsy I also had epilepsy. During my seizures I was completely aware of what was going on around me, however, I could not communicate with those around me, yet God was there with me telling me it was going to be okay. These events caused me to accept Christ at an early age. At the same time, I was running out of options for my condition. Thankfully though, my parents had heard of the ketogenic diet, which consisted of absolutely no sugar, high fat, and little carbs. I was on the diet for two years and haven’t had a seizure since! This is the only part of my disability than no longer affects me and proof that god is “…working all things for our good.” Through the years the obstacles I face have become different as I age such as; various feet problems, mobility limitations, issues with muscle tightness, skulliosis, etc… Circumstances are that I can no longer move from my chair to another piece of furniture with without help because of scoliosis. I had a ninety degree curve in my spine for which I have had two back surgeries. The bar that they installed in my back keeps me humble. Also, because of my surgeries, one of my other favorite Kutless songs is, “To Know That You’re Alive”. There were also other obstacles I faced aside from physical problems. For a long time I struggled with the fact that I could not go on mission trips around the world with my youth group. It is only within the last five years that I have realized my mission field is not to other countries, but is to the disabled community here at home. One thing that has happened in recent years though, is that as a senior in high school, I really looked forward to going away to college after graduation, but through various circumstances I didn’t end up going away. Even though I got into four of the five schools I applied to (Two of which were University of California schools), through special circumstances, god showed me that it wasn’t his plan for me to go away to college yet. I was really upset, but I knew that, “Even if the healing doesn’t come And life falls apart/And dreams are still undone/You are God You are good/Forever faithful” Even though the song hadn’t come out yet, through various life experiences, my thoughts echoed the words of the song. Although God’s love never changes it is only my perspective that has changed. I used to think of my disability as something that I needed to overcome for Christ to fully use me. It is because of my disability that I have to rely not only on Jesus Christ but on others as well. Although I have to depend on other people on a daily basis it is that dependence on others that makes me a perfect candidate to witness to disabilities to Christ. So even if Christ does not bring healing he will always provide what I need to achieve his plan for my life, not my plan for my life. One thing that I always remind myself is that, “Lord we know your ways are not our ways/ So we set our faith in who You are.

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Cynthia Portland, OR October 16, 2015

I’ve been a Christian for about 30 years now, but had been leading a pretty dry walk for much of the time. Five years ago, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. While I did rely on God to get us thru the stress of that, still, my walk was dry. Praise God, my husband is clean and cancer free.

Four years ago, at age 46 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Needless to say, I turned to God. What a legacy to leave my teenaged children, both parents having cancer. Just after my surgery, but before I began chemotherapy, I purchased your “Kutless” CD for my son, strictly on a lark. I saw that you were a local band so I gave it a shot.

Erik played the CD one night and while I was sitting at the kitchen table working a puzzle, “Run” came on. Like a knife it stabbed my heart! The visual effect it had on my imagination was heartbreaking. Jesus was calling out to me to come back to him in a way I had never thought of. I knew that God wanted ALL of me.

Sobbing, I got up from the table and went to my bedroom where I got face down on the floor [for the first time] and asked God to forgive my apathy. I poured out all my cares, fears and sin to Him. It was at that point that I discovered a peace that surpasses all understanding [Phillipians 4:7]. I can honestly say I am happy cancer came into our lifes because it, along with your beautiful lyrics, led me back to my Savior. Thru your song, our family rededicated our life to Jesus and are active in youth ministry. My son is leaving for Multnomah Bible College in a few days with a goal of becoming a missionary. God used your music mightily in our home!

Fast forward 3.5 years and my Dad became gravely ill. I drove from Portland to California to be with him. After two weeks, he came home in stable but guarded condition. My sister and I did not know whether my Dad knew Jesus, but in the flurry of caring for him at home, juggling the nurses and his medical needs, we never asked.

Eventually, I drove back home to Portland and popped in your “Sea Of Faces” CD. I heard “It’s Like Me” for the first time. Again, I began sobbing. How on earth could I have let time pass with my Dad and NOT talk to him about Jesus? Once again, God used your lyrics to motivate me to do His work.

Upon arriving home, I called my sister and told her I was coming down very soon and to keep me up to date by the hour of my Dad’s condition. Within a few days I was back in California and at my Dad’s side. One morning I asked if I could read the bible to him. Eventually, I asked him if he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. He hadn’t but was willing. My sister and I prayed with him at that point and he accepted Jesus as his Savior! God used “It’s Like Me” to NOT allow any more time to pass before talking with my Dad. It continues to be an inspiration to me to witness for Jesus.

Guys, so many of your songs convict and inspire me and my family. We’ve been to four of your concerts and never cease to be inspired by you. I pray that God continues to use you mightily in the years to come. Many blessings to you and your family. Please tell them we appreciate the sacrifices they are making so we can hear you beautiful music.

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Abby Lima, OH November 3, 2015

My father has never been a part of my life. He left before I was even born. He wasn’t ready to be a father and didn’t want to be one. Because of this I blamed myself for his leaving. I thought it was my fault and that I was a mistake. I hated myself so much for making my father leave. I also hated him for leaving my mother and me at the time when we needed him the most. I was so angry but I never let any of my frustrations out, I kept them bottled inside. No one knew that I was so angry and hurting so much. All of my anger and all of my pain slowly began to tear me apart. I hurt so bad on the inside and I wanted the pain to go away. I didn’t care how, I just wanted it to fade. I began cutting myself when I was 16. I was so numb to everything else that I welcomed the pain that it brought just so I could feel something, anything, no matter how much it hurt. I would feel better but only for a moment. Then I would feel worse and hate myself more because if the guilt. It became a daily ritual for me. I would come home from school, go into my room, shut and lock the door and I would cut myself. I got a rush from the pain, but I got an even bigger rush from hiding it from those around me. Yes, it made me feel better for a little while, but it the long run it made my life seem more chaotic and out of control. I had to have control of my life in any way,shape or form. I gained control of my life by also developing an eating disorder. To me it was the way to bring order back into my life. I thought these things would help me, but slowly they began to kill me emotionally, mentally, and physically. I couldn’t stand the way I was living but I didn’t know how to get out. I felt trapped inside my disorder and cutting addiction. I knew I needed help, but at that time I was running from God and I was blaming him for everything I was going through. I knew He was there, but I thought He was distant. I was always praying, “God where are you? Why is this happening? God show me the way. Prove to me that You are always with me.” I wanted and needed something to hold onto, something to remind me of His presence. I was still struggling with cutting and anorexia, and I was still feeling lost, hopeless, and alone. I had a particularly rough day at school and on my way home I knew what I had to do as soon as I got home. The urge was strong and I didn’t think I could fight it. I thought I had to give in and I had to cut myself, but I didn’t want to. I prayed that God would send me something to hold on to, something that would keep me strong. When I got home for some reason I tuned my radio into the Christian station, I never listened to that station, especailly not when I was about to cut. Then another strange thing happened, I left the radio on that station. I was sitting on my bed, getting ready to cut, when your song “Promise of a Lifetime” came on. I stopped and listened and not 30 seconds into the song I was crying. This song was what I had been praying for. Something that I could cling to that would remind me that God was always with me and that he heard my cries. There weren’t just bits and pieces of the song that touched me, but the entire song. This song had been played so much throughout my recovery and has helped keep me strong. Whenever I feel alone and lost I play this song and it comforts me and reminds me of His Promise. I want to thank you guys for listening to the Holy Spirit and writing the songs that He inspires you to write. I truly believe that all of you will have amazing rewards in Heaven. Not only that but you will have a long line of people who will tell you of ways that your music, your lives, and your stories have helped them. Most importantly, I want to thank God for always being there for me and for bringing me back to Him and for restoring my life. God bless you all, Abby Lima, OH

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Shari Dougherty November 3, 2015

I had to share this story with you, I’ve also posted this on my FB page. Yesterday my fiance Chris was getting the oil changed in his car. The manager told him he needed new tires, his were really worn. He said he had to pass, he’s been out of work for the last 6 1/2 months…so it can wait. There was a woman in the waiting room and when he sat down she said to him, “Unemployed, huh? That stinks.” He thought, “Well, that’s nosey, but okay…” and he said, “Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around.” He didn’t tell her he’d been injured on the job and was waiting to get released to go back to work full time. He told her he still considered himself very blessed. He has a roof over his head, a son who is healthy who gets good grades and is great in sports and music. He wasn’t worried, he has FAITH. She asked what he did and he said he was a Firefighter/Paramedic. She said, “Oh, can you do phlebotomy?” He said, “No, I can administer drugs and IV’s, but I can’t take things OUT of people.” She said, “I have a job for you if you want to take the training to get your phlebotomist certification.” He was floored. He said, “Where do I interview?” She said, “You just did. I’m the owner of the company. I can tell you’re a man of Faith, and you have Faith. I have a good feeling about you. Now let’s get you some new tires.” She went to the manager and told him to get four new tires on Chris’ car for him and she was buying! Chris was floored, and humbled, and said he couldn’t take it. She said he needed a reliable car to work for her because he has to drive a lot. The manager heard their conversation, and was choked up, and he said he would throw in the cabin filter he needed for free. But there’s more! They walked over to a pizza place to have lunch while waiting for their cars, and she called her office and worked things out for him to start tomorrow, and she wrote down the information on a piece of paper and slid it across the table to him. Inside the piece of paper was a check for $1000! He wouldn’t take it. She said to use it for Christmas. She said to pay it forward… When he got in his car to leave after thanking her profusely, YOUR SONG WHAT FAITH CAN DO was the first song he heard!! Now, someone tell me that God doesn’t help those who have FAITH…

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Mike Clackamas, OR November 3, 2015

I remember hearing about Kutless right after I got saved… I was living near Eugene, OR, when someone first mentioned them to me. But I really started listening to them after I moved up to the Portland area in 2003. Little did I realize that not only were they from Portland, but the guys all attended my home church up here, Athey Creek Christian Fellowship. Word got out that they were coming back from a tour to lead our church in worship for Easter services last year, right after the release of their worship album, “Strong Tower”. I was so excited to see Kutless live, and in my own church, too! Little did I know the work that God was going to do in me that day… I’ve struggled with anger issues towards my father since I was little. I grew up in a very worldly family, outside of any sort of church. I’d always felt like I played second fiddle to my younger brother, who seemed to get all the attention and affection of my father. I was left to try and meaninglessly impress my father, feeling so betrayed that I had to ‘earn’ his love. The anger really built up over the years, to the point where I moved out of the house by the time I was 16 years old, just to get away from all the problems at home. The holidays away from home always reminded me that I was not really a part of the family anymore… that I had moved on. But the shame of feeling like the outcast in the family, now being the only one ‘in church’ and living away from home, it totally weighed me down with each passing holiday. So at Easter, I joined my new family at ACCF to remember and rejoice in the Lord’s resurrection. Having Kutless there was already making it the most memorable Easter to date, but after hearing “Sea of Faces” at the service, I really took in the lyrics, and what they actually meant. I was walking through downtown Portland in the rain later that day, which anyone who knows Portland knows that it rains like it’s going out of style! But I was listening to that song still… and I heard the lyrics, “If only my one heart was all You’d gain from all it cost, well I know You would have still been a man with a reason to willingly offer Your life.” And at that very moment, I truly recognized how much my Eternal Father loved me, how proud He was of me… and most importantly, how far He was willing to go to be with me. There are so many of us in this world who feel lost and confused about where we stand with our parents. But God told me that day where I stood with my one Father who’s opinion is the only one that matters. He told me loud and clear that day, “I love you, son, and I am so excited to be with you.” I was overcome with joy, to the point I cried for the whole world to see. God gave me worth, and He’s given that to anyone who calls upon His name. Thanks, Kutless, for allowing God to use you and your music to touch my life.

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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!