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Vicki Kentucky November 3, 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 member of our earthly family but we now have a sister in Christ!

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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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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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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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Kim Mcnamara Mcnamara November 3, 2015

Hello Kutless! Two weeks after buying “Believer” a good friend, and sister in the Lord passed away due to cancer. The evening before she passed I watched the slide show video of “even if” on youtube. Having been blessed by this song, my thoughts were put in the right perspective, remembering the awesomeness of our God and His ways are not our ways. The healing may not have come in this life for her but God chose to heal her in taking her home. Also, I would like to mention that the entire cd has blessed me spiritually in opening my eyes to Gods mercy and grace, helping me to pull out of a pit that I’ve been in for quite sometime. You are such a blessing to me! May God continue to bless you in all that you do! <3 kim mcnamara 🙂

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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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Jeff & Julie Naperville, IL November 3, 2015

My husband and I are blessed with 3 sons (ages 12, 7, and 4). Our two older boys were able to see you in concert with us. We live in the Chicago area and we saw you in Peoria, IL. We were extremely blessed by your music, along with the Newsboys and Newworldson. You are right about music impacting the human soul. I am so grateful for your music. Our youngest son, Joel was born prematurely at 28 weeks. He was in the hospital entirely for the first 17 months of his life, because his lungs were extremely premature. He had to have a tracheotomy and he was on a ventilator 24 hours a day. He came home like that and we had home health nursing. To make a long story short, he is completely healed. He can breathe on his own and doesn’t have a trach anymore. Praise God! What we are challenged with now is the fact that our 4 year old son is severely developmentally behind. Even though he is 4 years old, he is at an 11 month level of development. The fact that God has healed him in the medical sense is a miracle, but I would lie if I told you I wasn’t discouraged that he isn’t walking or talking yet (but hopefully soon!). I wanted to give this praise, even though Joel isn’t walking or talking, he loves music. He loves your music. I have it loud in the car and at home. I swear even though he can’t talk, it sounds like he is trying to sing, especially to the song “All Of The Words”. Your music ministers to my son’s soul even though he doesn’t understand it mentally, his spirit knows and worships God, I believe. Not only does it minister to him, it ministers to our other two sons. At their young age, they are sharing your music with friends who are unsaved. What an impact you are making on the young generation by singing lyrics of positive words and songs that glorify Jesus. Not to mention that you have helped me through difficult times. As a mom of a special needs son, life can be difficult and try to zap the joy of the Lord from you, but once again praise God for great Christian music as yours. I purchased the Strong Tower CD and was listening to it a lot. My husband noticed a change in my attitude. He noticed that the joy of the Lord was in me. So, thank you for allowing us to experience that through your music. We also wanted to say thank you for meeting with all of your fans after the concert. It was special for our boys to have you and Newworldson sign their CD’s and let them meet you. That is inspiring them to continue to play guitar and piano for the Lord. We know that God will continue the great work in you and will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6). Julie Holtz Naperville, IL

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Cynthia Portland Portland, OR November 3, 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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Melissa Buckbee November 3, 2015

Dear Kutless,

I wanted to share our Christmas letter we sent out last year with you which explains the miracle we’ve experienced over the last 11 months. And to also tell you about how your song “What faith can do” touched the lives of my husband and I as we have seen the miracle of our 4th child (in 4 % years ©) from beginning to end. The first time I heard this song I wept thinking about how fitting the words were to our miracle… It is best explained through our Christmas letter…

Her Name is “Praise the Lord”

Merry Christmas! I hope this letter finds you and your family well. With all of the uncertainty in our lives, I thought this year’s Christmas letter needed to be about a miracle our family has experienced over the last 6 months, and I hope it would renew your faith in our most powerful God, as this miracle has renewed our own.

Paul and I very unexpectedly found out we were pregnant with baby #4 on 7/15. Everything was going great until the morning of 8/3 when I started to bleed heavily. My regular OB was out of town for the week, so I called the maternal-fetal medicine specialist (OB for high-risk pregnancies). He told me to come in for a heartbeat check. I went in and they were able to see a strong heartbeat but also found a very large hemorrhage about an inch above where the baby implanted. The doctor said that the hemorrhage was so large that the pregnancy would more than likely end in miscarriage, but as long as I continued to bleed and not pass the baby, I could come in for daily heartbeat checks. I immediately asked God to put a hedge of protection around the baby. So over the next two days I went in for the heartbeat checks and they were able to visualize them, but with each passing day the bleed continued to get closer and closer to the baby. Wednesday evening was the worst of the bleeding. With so much blood-loss, from Monday morning to Wednesday evening I lost 6 lbs. Thursday morning, I knew I had to expect the worst, but I continued to pray for the hedge of protection. They did the ultrasound and found that the bleed extended under, over, and around the baby. The baby was found to have no heartbeat. I was devastated—but at the same time, prepared, knowing the medical likelihood of a loss.

He told me I could talk about options for the miscarriage with him or I could see my regular OB. I told him I’d just go to my regular OB’s office. Later that day, I did, and my regular OB’s partner gave me an ultrasound and showed me not only the absent heartbeat but the breaking open of the gestational sac (the actual medical report says, “No cardiac activity after 3 minutes observation—Diagnosis: Inevitable Abortion.”) She prescribed me Cytotec, a pill to induce contractions. I wanted to miscarry naturally, but I filled the prescription anyway.

At our kitchen table that evening, I sat with the pills in my hand for a couple minutes. It was then that I prayed to God and told Him I was thankful that I would see this baby girl (I just had a feeling it was a girl) again in heaven. I told Him that I asked Him for a miracle, but I knew He had other perfect plans for us. Then something inside me said, “Ask again.” I thought—surely not! I mean, the baby was already gone! But I remembered reading in Matthew what Jesus did in bringing life back into a little girl. And I knew He had the power to do the same miracle today. So I put the pills back into the bottle and prayed the craziest prayer I ever prayed in my life—I said, “Lord, miracles are not miracles for You— Please bring life back into this baby.”

On Saturday (8/8) I was on my way to the County fair with my mom when I started having terrible dizziness and shortness of breath. I have a history of blood clot problems, so to rule out pulmonary embolus I went to the ER. They wanted to do another ultrasound to see how the miscarriage was progressing. I just lay on the ultrasound table so emotional and, knowing I had not passed the baby yet, I asked the ultrasound tech to see the baby one last time. The ultrasound tech zoomed in on the baby and I SAW A HEARTBEAT!! I said, “Is that a heartbeat??!!” and the tech, knowing only the short of my story said confused, “Well, yes—it is.” I just broke down and started crying, “I ASKED FOR A MIRACLE! I ASKED FOR A MIRACLE!! DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO I PRAYED TO?!” I think the entire radiology department at St. E’s thought I was NUTS! The ER doc told me that this was “strange” but I was still pregnant.

Monday morning, I called the specialist who was the first to confirm the death of the baby. He asked me to come see him right away. When I arrived, he was speechless… He saw the heartbeat and just kept shaking his head saying, “This was impossible”. I saw my regular OB when she got back from vacation, and after the ultrasound she said, “I know exactly what happened.” I thought, wow—this oughta be good… She said that the baby which the other obstetricians saw had to be a twin which “vanished”. I had heard of vanishing twins before, and being scientifically minded myself, I told my OB I would accept this explanation without hesitation if she could just explain to me, further, how two completely competent OBs missed the “now-fully-and-always-flourishing” baby 2 millimeters away from the demised twin… She said she couldn’t explain this. I said, “I can—Medicine cannot explain what God places above it. This is a miracle.” She said there was no such thing as “miracles”.

The fetal-medicine specialist, to whom I immediately transferred my care, said this “vanishing twin” theory was not a possibility having observed, himself, the single-gestation with ultrasound for the 4 consecutive days prior to death of the baby. With this in mind, he was a little more accepting of the miracle explanation, but he’s said, “…the Pope would first have to call it a “miracle” in order for him to call it one.”…hmmm… I just told him that it is what it is no matter who calls it what.

We’ve said, “Praise the Lord” so much over the course of this miracle, we thought the name Hallelujah was perfect for her. We call her “Halle” for short. Please keep us in your prayers as the pregnancy continues to be complicated. She is due 3/28/10.

I don’t know why God chose to answer my desperate request for a miracle. He has not answered all for which I’ve prayed before. But I do know that God has a perfect will for each of our lives, and He wants us to ask Him for the impossible. He wants to show us Who He Is. I pray you trust the same One—the Lord of the elements of His creation—to take control of your life. Surrender your fears and faith to Him who is more than able.

Have a great year—we love you! The Buckbees

I gave birth to Hallelujah on March 11—almost 3 months ago and she’s absolutely perfect. I have enclosed Halle’s medical records which document her life, death and then life again… I wanted to tell you this story and thank you for writing “What Faith Can Do”. It has been Halle’s theme song…and I still can’t hear the song without tearing up praising the One who “made her broken heart brand new”.

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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!