In My Most Recent Letter to Our Malachi Network Friends, I Share My Thoughts on This Election

Dear Malachi Network Friends,

As you get this letter we will be counting down the days until our country’s election. For those of us who are trying to hold on to Kingdom values, it is hard to have much hope. As we follow the news cycle of the last weeks we seem to be faced on the one side with immorality and on the other with criminality. It truly is an unprecedented time in our nation’s history.

There is an alternative focus. . .we really are not forced to depend on either immorality or criminality. I encourage you to focus your mind and your heart on this: Sovereignty.  

Jesus is right now on a throne. He is not twiddling His thumbs nor is He wringing His hands. He is not disinterested or disengaged. He cares deeply for us. He has all the power in heaven and on earth. His sovereign power enabled Him to use both Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar to fulfill His purposes on this earth. He is faithful to use both blessing and judgment to bring about His goal of a radiant Bride preparing for His glory to flood the earth as the waters cover the sea. Our Sovereign God delights in allowing His children’s light to shine the brightest when there is much darkness.

His purposes are not captive to human initiative and earthly government. We are citizens of a Kingdom and our King is alive, engaged, perfect, and powerful. Christians. . .listen to Him, do what He says, stand your ground and be ready to surrender everything for his purposes on this earth. There is a day coming when our faithfulness in the midst of immorality and criminality will be rewarded by a Sovereign King.

We are so thankful for your faithfulness to our family and to our ministry with the Malachi Network. Our summer focus with Avalon Beach Church was the best yet. The first year we averaged about 30 people each week. Last year we averaged about 50 people. And this year we averaged about 70 people worshipping Jesus on the 30th Street beach. We baptized 9 believers in the ocean following our services. And we prayed with many for salvation and healing. What joy to ministry with 3 generations of Stevensons in what has to be the most beautiful sanctuary of all!

We would also like to thank many of you who shared your love with us during the passing of Tania’s father, Dr. Robert R. Moore. What a great man of God! He served faithfully as a pastor and professor at Asbury University. Please continue to pray for our family, especially Tania’s mother, Tillie.

Our Fall has been filled with ministry opportunities. I was able to meet with an amazing church planter in Barcelona, Spain. He is looking for connection and we are praying about the possibility of partnering with his work in Europe. I will also be traveling in the next weeks for ministry in California, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Thank you for the way you cover us in prayer.

We are also very grateful for your faithfulness in supporting us financially. We never take your sacrifices lightly. We are very aware of how many people it takes to fulfill our ministry purpose: “Making the Name of the LORD great among the nations.” Last month we hosted one of our most gifted families for a week. This couple, along with their 4 children, are serving Jesus in a very hard place in the middle east. As I fell in love with them again through our time together, I felt huge compassion for their parents/grandparents! The whole extended family sacrifice greatly for the cause of Christ. Thank you for helping us make such sacrifice possible. Please continue to support our ministry with great generosity.

In His Amazing Grace,

Rich and Tania Stevenson

(You can send checks marked “Stevenson” to The Malachi Network – PO Box 368 – Avalon, NJ 08202 or give online at http://www.malachinetwork.org by going to the MN Family page and clicking “Donate” by our name)

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Stevenson’s Update on Ministry and Family – Spoiler Alert – Jesus is Awesome!

IMG_0523Hey Friends, here is a recent update about our ministry and our family.  It also has some important truth regarding the power that Jesus has over darkness.  I hope that it encourages you!

July 2, 2016

“He can wield any and all armies on the earth to accomplish his purposes among the nations, whether they know it or not. He has myriads of unstoppable angels who do his bidding flawlessly and never fail in their errands. And he has appointed every star in the universe its position.   He holds them in place—all trillion trillion of them—and calls them all by name.”   John Piper

Dear Friends,

I remember hearing the great Leonard Ravenhill speak back in the 90’s at a Vineyard Conference with John Wimber in Anaheim, CA. He first talked about our enemy, “The prince of darkness grim.” He is not to be dismissed or taken lightly. Ravenhill reminded us that according to Revelation, Satan has 1/3 of the angelic realm who now serve him with demonic power.

But then Ravenhill challenged us that “we tremble not for him.” This is who we have on our side: The Father, the Son, the precious Holy Spirit, 2/3 of the angelic warring angels, the authoritative Word of God and the radiant Bride!

It’s really not a fair fight at all! Jesus, right now, is on a throne. He is not disengaged and He is not disinterested. He is not twiddling His thumbs nor is He wringing His hands. He has all the power in heaven and on earth and is perfectly orchestrating the events of the end of this age so that His Bride becomes radiant and ultimately His glory floods the earth just as the waters cover the sea!

I am encouraged as we continue partnering with Jesus through the ministry of The Malachi Network. We are “making the name of the LORD great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11

There are 52 of us, mostly young adults, doing mighty deeds for the Lord in places like the Middle East, Nepal, Thailand, Guatemala and the United States. Thank you for the part that you play through prayer and giving generously in seeing this great work done on the earth.

I am so thankful for my family and their deep concern for the things of God. Zach and Meghan (along with Naima Grace) continue to serve the Lord through the South Jersey House of Prayer, Carll’s Corner Community Fellowship and Avalon Beach Church. Jake and Lena (along with Grey) are serving in a brand new church plant in Charlotte, NC. Jake was runner-up to rookie of the year in his financial planning company, Larson, Inc. And Jessie and Corrie just finished a 6 month Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission. They did their outreach in Albania, the poorest country in Europe, sharing the love of Jesus.
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Tania and I are not only overseeing the church planters and missionaries in The Malachi Network, we are in the thick of our 3rd season with Avalon Beach Church (www.avalonbeachchurch.com). We are seeing our biggest crowds ever and are focused on: Advancing the Kingdom, Believing for changed lives and Creating simple communities. It’s as easy as ABC!

We are asking the Lord to increase the number of people who pray for us and support our ministry. Would you not only consider giving a special summer gift, but also be a reference for us with a friend? You can send support for our ministry to:  The Malachi Network – Stevenson Support – PO Box 368 – Avalon, NJ 08202.  You can give support online at www.malachinetwork.org.  Just go to the MN Family page and click on “donate” by our name.  If you have a referral or any questions, you can email me at richstevenson63@gmail.com.

I hope this letter encourages you to keep a strong faith in the purposes of God being fulfilled on this earth!

In His Amazing Grace,

Rich and Tania Stevenson

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Some Ifs, Ands and Buts for Easter

images-5(This is my most recent letter to our Malachi Network friends)

March 25, 2016

Dear Friends,

I’m the kind of guy that likes to use the phrase “no ifs, ands or buts.” Let’s get this done…no waiting, no whining, no excuses. But I’m about to change that philosophy for Easter…stay with me here.

If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (I Cor. 15:14)

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. (I Cor. 15:17)

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead! (I Cor. 15:20) Continue reading

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He Didn’t Just Write “Amazing Grace”…

0168=162John Newton wrote more than just “Amazing Grace”…

I just recently reacquainted myself with this great hymn:  In Evil Long I Took Delight.  As we draw close to Christ’s passion and resurrection, it’s OK to get lost in wonder, love and praise!

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopp’d my wild career:

I saw One hanging on a Tree
In agonies and blood,
Who fix’d His languid eyes on me.
As near His Cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath,
Can I forget that look:
It seem’d to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke:

My conscience felt and own’d the guilt,
And plunged me in despair:
I saw my sins His Blood had spilt,
And help’d to nail Him there.

Alas! I knew not what I did!
But now my tears are vain:
Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
For I the Lord have slain!

A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou may’st live.”

Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.

With pleasing grief, and mournful joy,
My spirit now if fill’d,
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by Him I kill’d!

John Newton, 1725-1807.

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The Ragman

256588_f26011-232x300I’ve been teaching and preaching on “The Cross as the Crux of All Human History” through this season of Lent.

This week’s focus has been on Christ’s identification with us.  I came across this story that I shared 25 years ago.  As you read it, meditate on the beautiful prophecy in Isaiah 53:4,5:

“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. . .he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed.”

The Ragman – by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me for. Hush, child. Hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Continue reading

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