Can you imagine a world without yourself in it? I can. And there is a part of that picture with which I am not pleased. It’s the part where my survivors are cleaning up the mess I left behind. Unused and unuseful material possessions. Complicated business and investment arrangements. Things that only I know how to do, or access, or what to do with once accessed.

Whenever I go to an estate sale, or even a moving sale, I am reminded how much stuff a person can live without – especially when they’re dead. 

If You’re Going to Fail, Fail Big

If you’re going to fail, fail big.
Take bankruptcy, start over and succeed.
Crush the competition, buy yourself some friends.
Dazzle investors, convince banks to lend.

Grow, grow, grow! Leave no money on the table.
Fire the weaklings, groom the able.
Cultivate consumers, placate resentment.
Nature abhors a vacuum; ambition abhors contentment.

There’s no such thing as excess when leaving your mark,
doing what you’re born for, aiming for the stars.
And greed? Only the jealous accuse with that term.
You deserve what you have, every penny was earned.

Simplicity, contentment, generosity, thrift—
a simpleton’s hymn claims these are gifts.
You don’t need gifts, you’re no object of charity;
they may pray for your soul but don’t dare call you needy.

Let them keep their quaint ways, their naive integrity.
You can exploit such impoverishing piety.
You’re paving your destiny on a highway you own;
if it leads to hell, you still hold title to every stone.

Son, follow my mantra and you’ll end up like me.
If you’re going to fail, fail big.





Keep Your Faith Simple Ministries
“Helping Believers Cope in the Information Age”


Dr. Hedley Headrocks. Ph.D., DD., Ed.D., Etc., author of the best-selling,
Christians in the Age of Information: How to Keep Your Faith Simple and From the Heartlive and in-person with his highly acclaimed

 Keep Your Faith Simple
 Seminar & Conference


 March 17,18,19,20 and 21, 2004
First Metro Area Central Faith Christian Community Bible Church
471365 East 427th West (follow the searchlights)

 Make your reservations early for this once-in-a-lifetime event!


Dr. Headrocks will address such timely issues as,

  • Why it is essential to keep your faith simple.

  • How to remove the clutter.

  • Can faith be too simple?

  • How to know if your faith is simple enough.

  • The simple husband.

  • The simply irresistible wife.

  • Plus over 187 additional topics!


 All registered participants will receive a syllabus plus copies of the
Keep Your Faith Simple Workbook, (Volumes I, II, & III)
 Also available for purchase: the 2,219 page
Keep Your Faith Simple Resource Manual.



About the Facilitator

 Dr. Hedley Headrocks graduated Magna Cum Laude from the East-South Central University of Northern New England and holds additional degrees from Northwestern, Southeastern, and Midcentral Colleges. His Doctorate of Divinity is from the Central Manhattan School of Confectionery Delights and he has completed numerous courses through Writerscramp Correspondence School. Author of numerous books, hundreds of articles, and a series of children’s videos, Headrocks is also the founder and president of Keep Your Faith Simple Ministries, Keep Your Faith Simple Publications, and the Keep Your Faith Simple Broadcasting Network.




 Dr. Headrocks believes many people would like to keep their faith simple, but simply do not know how. He feels that simply wanting to simplify is simply not enough. His mission is to:

 “Empower individuals and communities of individuals through research, development and timely dissemination of intellectual, spiritual and social resources relevant to the essential process of maintaining a simple faith”.

 He is currently developing the Simple Faith Database, which is presently capable of accessing over 40,000 documents relating to simple faith. Dr. Headrocks and his staff of 160 full-time assistants can be visited on the Internet at:




 “For me, as well as, I am sure, countless other conference-goers and their fellow attendees, the high-point as well as the most outstandingly constructive and helpful session of the entire time we spent at the conference was Dr. Headrocks’ Teaching entitled, “Removing redundancy, repetition and verbal clutter from our conversations, our relationships, our thought-patterns and our lives”. I simply cannot say enough…” ” …it bears repeating: for me, as well as, I am sure, countless other conference-goers and their fellow attendees, the high-point…”

– Wayne Verble, Talkerstown, Pennsylvania


 “Dr. Headrocks is a godsend! When he said ‘don’t put us teachers on a pedestal, we’re only human,’ it really hit home to me. With that simple teaching, Dr. Headrocks changed my life forever! I would go anywhere, anytime to hear him again. He is gifted with an almost super-human ability to discern and communicate truth and certainly ranks as one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our generation…”

– Annette Flutterhart, Idolwild, Colorado


 “Tears streamed down my face as I watched Dr. Headrocks on the closed circuit TV screen in the overflow crowd room as he spoke on the need in our lives for solitude. The tears were partly from the recognition of my own intense desire to get alone, and partly because at least three people were stepping on my feet…”

– Arlene S., Beemerville, Kansas


How To Register:

Important: follow all instructions carefully!


1. Call the toll-free Keep Your Faith Simple Ministries Conference Registration Hotline to request a registration packet. You will be assigned a unique Personal Identification Number. Write this number down and keep it handy at all times. If you lose it it will be impossible to further process your registration.

2. When you receive the Registration Packet, carefully remove each item and make sure you have the following: Personal Information Form (6 pages), Reference Forms (3), Questionnaire (16 pages), Financial Worksheet/Scholarship Applications (88 pages), Payment Booklet, Instructions (120 pages), Keep Your Faith Simple Resources Catalog (1128 pages)

3. Fill out each of the forms completely, except for the Reference Forms which are to be filled out by your three references and mailed directly to Keep Your Faith Simple Ministries.

4. Attach copy of your most recent schedule 1040 Federal tax return form to the Financial Worksheet/Scholarship Application. Provide all information requested. Cost of the conference is based on a sliding scale determined by income and the following formula: Cost of conference = annual income times (4687903.619 ÷ 4687903.619)

5. Indicate whether payment will be made by cash, check, money order, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Diner’s Club, Western Union, payroll deduction, reverse mortgage, etc. Enclose blank check or write your credit card number in the space provided. Do not fill in the amount. We will do this for you!

6. Six to eight weeks after your registration is received and processed, you will receive your first packet of advance study materials. You are urged to spend several hours studying each evening until the conference starts. Thus you can be assured of getting the most from your conference experience and truly learning how to Keep Your Faith Simple!








Don’t lie to your children. Don’t tell them they can grow up to be anything they want. It’s simply not true. If it were, what would we do with the surplus of firefighters, astronauts, and video game developers? How can “any kid grow up to be president” when there are only 18 presidential elections in the average lifetime?

Instead of asking kids what they dream of becoming, ask them what they are curious about. Cultivate in them a joy of learning new things. See to it that they are rewarded for hard work. Teach them by example – with empathy and compassion. Then don’t worry about their future. Instead of being frustrated by unattainable dreams, they will gradually discover what fascinates them the most, work hard to excel in that field, and use those skills to live a meaningful and impactful life.

I am a hermit
though not in the traditional sense
I have the Internet
and social media
and a hundred or so so-called friends
yet the deepest aches of my soul
I dare not put out there
not even in a private message
if I did what would be the response?
A thumbs-up? A crying face emoji?

I am a hermit
though not in the traditional sense
I live to make folks laugh
or think, or cry
I tally their reactions
as if counting growing wealth
I banter with the banterers
curmudge with the curmudgeons
I correct the misguided
and promote my beloved causes

yet in the end
when I close my laptop
I am as empty and hollow
as when I first booted up
I put my computer to sleep
and try to do the same myself
when the new day arrives
I’ll again open my browser
and search for

I am a hermit
though not in the traditional sense

When I was in my 20s and 30s I found shopping for a mother’s day card to be a frustrating experience. The cards would say things like, “Thank you for being the one who always believed in my dreams even when nobody else did.” That didn’t fit her. She wasn’t that kind of mother, even though I desperately wished she was.

She was practical. Practical to a fault, I thought. Hers wasn’t a world of dreams and ambitions. Her world revolved around daily doing what needed to be done. And she did so through faithful, dependable service to those close to home, as well as to some who will remain total strangers, perhaps until they meet in Heaven.

It’s not that she spoke disparagingly of ambitions—it was more that she would always turn the subject to what she saw as worthwhile pursuits. For example, rather than sympathizing when I lamented a dead-end job, she would point out that that job was my opportunity to serve my wife and children, boss and customers, with Christ-like, sacrificial love.

Over the years, my perception of my mother and her view of life has gradually changed. What I once found frustrating, I now find comforting. Dreams disappoint; ambitions crumble. More than midway through life, we can find ourselves irreconcilably separated from the accomplishments we thought we were destined to fulfill.

But faithful, compassionate service is an investment that will never disappoint. Proverbs says, “he who gives to the poor, lends to the Lord.” Mama showed us, by example, how to store up treasures in Heaven where “neither rust, nor moth” nor even our own miscalculations, can destroy.

Years ago, when we lived in California, my mother met an elderly lady. She was well into her 80’s, but she introduced herself like this: “Hi, I’m Mrs. C., I take care of old people!” Mama was really tickled by that and often mentioned this dear saint. I think Mama wanted to emulate her, serving rather than being served, even in advanced age.

The health setbacks that increasingly took away her abilities to interact with others must have been heartbreaking to Mama and among the toughest challenges of her lifetime. Yet even these she handled with perseverance, patience, and grace. She, of course, did not want to be a burden to anyone. But what we were able to do for her was not a burden at all, but a privilege. And it came nowhere close to repaying a lifetime of kindness, generosity and selfless love.

Eleanor Harder

For the first 12 Christmasses of our marriage, my wife Susan begged and pleaded with me to compose a Christmas letter so our friends and relatives could stay abreast of our family news. Then, in 1992, the begging and pleading abruptly stopped. That was the year I wrote my first and last Christmas letters. Susan rejected my first effort for no apparent reason, so with great patience and forbearance, I wrote and rewrote, edited, struck out words, and reworded. Personally, I thought the first edition was perfectly suitable for sending out. I had, after all, simply followed the format and tone of most of the Christmas letters I had ever read…


Dear Family, Friends, and Followers,

My, what a busy, rich, rewarding, wonderful year we’ve had! Life goes by so fast but we’ve managed to fill it to the fullest.

Loren continues to enjoy being one of the top people at his company. This year he received six promotions and a Congressional Medal of Honor. He was named Inventor of the Year for his system that uses satellite tracking to recover missing grocery carts. He continues to enjoy the challenges of quantum physics and occasional chats with Steven Hawkins. Bill Clinton has been calling on him for advice on foreign policy. Loren told him all policy is foreign to him. Bill sounds really excited.

Susan has been busy writing her third (!) doctoral dissertation and launching her national chain of lingerie and lawn supply stores. Somehow she still finds the time to plan dinner for fifty and bake cookies for David’s kindergarten class.

John has just completed the 300 by 600-foot gymnasium addition to his clubhouse, complete with Olympic size swimming pool. Earlier this year, he signed a deal with Citicorp to lease out the 30th through 37th floors for office space.

Tim is now a big third-grader. He drives behind the other two graders on the road crew. (Ha, ha!) We all enjoy humor now and then at our house. Actually, Tim has little time for playing with Tonka toys. His special honors work (through Harvard University) keeps him very busy. He was placed in the program after being ranked third in the world academically among third graders. (We later found out the other two students cheated.)

David started kindergarten this fall. It seems like just last summer he was a preschooler! His class got to go to Washington D. C. for a field trip. Next spring they are going to Brussels to get a first-hand look at the European Union.

Sarah is a rambunctious two-year-old. She is finally starting to talk – in French, her third language. She learned English at five months and Swahili at one year. One day Loren came home to discover that she had completely disassembled our $14,000 computer! Needless to say, she didn’t get any allowance that week till she had put it all back together.

Our pets are all doing fine. Fluffy and Foofoo are looking forward to the holiday season. Sarah’s thoroughbred, Play Dough, won The Preakness and The Kentucky Derby but not the Belmont Stakes. We were so disappointed!

The house is so much more enjoyable with this year’s addition of 8,000 square feet. (We were so cramped with only the original 12,000.)

Still have the same cars as last year. The “Jag” has been in the shop for occasionally running on only eleven cylinders so it’s probably time to think about trading. We rolled the Rolls so it’s in England right now, being repaired. We’ll most likely fly over there to inspect the job they did before authorizing return shipment.

Speaking of flying, we calculated the other evening that between the six of us we’ve traveled a combined total of 43,061 miles this year! Unfortunately, our Far East trip was cut short by a business emergency in Twangpoon, Outer Bangbasherash. Loren has an office there. We were able to stay at the company villa. (The hotels are terrible in Outer Bangbasherash.)

Well, enough about us! How are you all doing? Do let us know about your latest exploits, achievements, and acquisitions, and let’s stay in touch!

– The Harders


Susan was neither impressed nor amused by my attempts to present our admittedly modest year’s achievements in the best possible light. Very well, I decided, if she wants us to look like underachievers, I can make us look like underachievers…

To Anybody Out There Who Still Cares,

It’s been another mediocre year at the Harder house. In fact, I (Loren) think this year was probably a little more mediocre than most. Loren (Susan writing) never seems to make enough money, the house is drafty and somebody is always sick. We kept track of all our illnesses. Would you believe we had over 300 sick-person-days this year?

Our old car (Loren writing) had been smoking so badly we decided to keep a canary in the back – just for safety. After the canary died we still couldn’t afford another car (we were turned down by Creditman Auto Sales) so we drive around with all the windows down. That’s okay because we were looking at shelling out almost $15.00 to get the other two windows fixed so they’d roll up.

The one bright spot this year has been the whiplash payments. I (Susan) thought the car was totaled but the ever-clever Loren worked wonders with that crowbar so we can still drive it! The car has been a blessing (Loren writing). The real accident paid off so well we staged three more fake ones and have collected almost $100.

Our house is still the same as you might remember it. The fire didn’t really cause all that much damage. The boys like to pretend the tarp over their room is a tent. One day it’s camping, the next day it’s the circus. I (Loren) got a good deal on a mobile home that was hit by a tornado. We’ve been able to make lots of repairs on our house using tin, etc. from it. Unlike last year, we’ve had no plumbing problems this year because the well is completely dry. Good thing too! Most of our pipes froze and burst after the furnace blew up last winter.

Our children have all been in school fairly regular. We are quite proud of them but we’ll let each write about themselves:

I (John) narrowly escaped tragedy when my clubhouse collapsed. Dad told me not to put a cast iron bathtub on the third floor but would I listen? Nooo! Trouble is, I’ve learned to be real leery of Dad’s advice. So this time he happened to be right. Mom and Dad cut off my 15 cents a week allowance after I forgot to take my pet weasel out of Mom’s dresser drawer and he chewed a hole in it. (I also forgot that he gets claustrophobic.) Anyway, my only income this entire year has been from selling my clubhouse for kindling.

I (Tim) doent wunt two rite no stewpid leader butt dad ses i hav two. I hayt scul!!! I ulmost hed a dee averj butt i flunct two meny klaszez. my favert subjekt is speleng. i doent wunt to breg butt i am numbor 30 in mie klasss!

(David writing) Please keep us in your prayers! Dad’s compulsive gambling is working a real hardship on all of us. Mom’s amnesia has been getting worse. Sometimes she wonders off now. Once it took us a whole week to find her. We think it may be stress-related. For Christmas this year I would like some Play-doh. That way Sarah and I will have something to eat when Dad loses all our money or Mom can’t remember how to cook.

Sarah (written by Susan) This year I outgrew putting everything in my mouth so Dad is relieved that he won’t have to scrape off all the old lead-based paint. Next year, Mom wants me to get potty trained but I don’t know. David tells me that’s no picnic. In the winter it’s cold out there and in the summer there are hornets under the seat.

Well, that’s all of us except, of course, the pets. You remember our kitten, “Furball”. He’s grown up now and we’ve changed his name to “Hairball”. He does disgusting things and doesn’t respond at all to Robitussin®. “Puddles”, our poodle is grown up now too but we haven’t changed his name because he still isn’t housebroken. The parakeet has become a left-wing liberal from reading the papers on the bottom of his cage. We make him listen to Rush Limbaugh in the hopes that his other wing will be conservative.

Hope this letter finds you all in as good a shape as we’re in. We’d say to phone or write, but the phone company has been real nasty about getting us reconnected (we always sent them something every month) and Loren (Susan writing) still hasn’t replaced the mailbox. It was vandalized for the fourth time this year in May. So you’ll just have to stop in! You’re always welcome. Please just give us a little advance notice.

— The Harders

I don’t remember what Susan sent out that year. All I know is, I have been blissfully free from holiday letter-writing chores ever since.

©1992 Loren Harder



Originally released in 2004, Family Man followed Musician’s Prayer (1999) as the second of Loren’s themed collections. In 2010, both albums were digitally remastered with significant improvements to both the recording quality and musical arrangements. In addition to the electronic wizardry of Dave Harder on keyboards and computer, Family Man features Rob Loren on violin and mandolin; Deb Swift, harmony vocals; Susan Harder, harmony vocals, keyboards; Amy Erica Roszel, cello; Dave Harder, trumpet, bass guitar; Tim Harder, trombone;  Loren Harder, lead and harmony vocals, guitars, keyboards, harmonica, and digital sequencing. All lyrics and music were composed by Loren Harder between 1976 and 2003. Family Man was recorded in 2003 and 2010 at Father’s Business Recording Studio And Musician’s Hangout, Valley Center, KS. Digitally remastered by Dave Harder at Davarian Productions, Wichita, KS in 2010.

CD Album cover


2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the Musician’s Prayer album. Recorded in Loren’s basement in 1999-2000, and remastered in 2010 with help from tech wizard and musician extraordinaire, David Harder, Musician’s Prayer was the first CD collection of Loren’s original tunes. 

Backing voices: Good, Good Plans -Providence Farm Kid’s Choir; A Tender Heart – Sarah Michele Harder

Lala Land – The Uncola Man appears courtesy of 7Up


A Grundig TK46 Reel-to-reel tape recorder purchased by Loren's father in the 1960's and used for Loren's earliest experimental and demo recordings.



In the mid-nineteen-sixties Loren’s father purchased a Grundig TK46 reel-to-reel tape recorder like the one pictured at left. Undaunted by its massive size and weight (40 pounds) Loren lugged the machine to church to record choir cantatas conducted by his father. Thus began a lifelong fascination with audio recording.

The German-made Grundig was used for Loren’s earliest experimental and demo recordings including some of the tracks below. Through the years he used everything from cassette decks to computers to capture the songs he wrote.



Early Recordings


Bonus Tracks