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.
unnamed

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Success in This Age

20c14e2Success in this age is measured by faithfulness over decades.

This morning, I get to celebrate the faithfulness of some of my dearest friends.  Tim and Becca Westrom are celebrating 10 years of faithful leadership at Hope Springs Christian Fellowship in Cumberland, MD.  My friendship with them goes back even farther than that.  While they were getting their Master’s Degree at Asbury Theological Seminary they were also some of the most faithful leaders in the church we started in Wilmore, KY.  They were one of a handful of couples that could always be counted on to serve and more importantly to pray.

For the last 10+ years, they have raised a remarkable family.  Asher, Anna and Lydia love Jesus.  They worship, dance and pray.  Some time this year, the Westroms will add another son to their family.  He is a 4 year old special needs child living in a village in northeast India right now.

For the last 10+ years, they have been faithful to plant and lead a wonderful church family.  I celebrated with them when they started in their living room and I will celebrate 10 years of public services this morning in the beautiful sanctuary God has given to them.

They have labored intensely for this Church family.  Over this last decade, God has used Tim and Becca bi-vocationally.  They are both highly trained pharmacists as well as ministers of Christ’s Gospel.  I’m so proud that they have carried the bi-vocational mantle so faithfully.  They are an example of what I believe Church leadership is going to look more and more like as we approach the end of this age.

This morning, I will lay hands on them again after preaching a message from Ephesians 3:14-21.  I will pray that they can continue to apprehend what we can’t comprehend:  God’s love that surpasses knowledge.  Paul challenges us to grasp this love and to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Paul also promises that there will be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus.  Tim and Becca are being used in a beautiful way to bring about this promise.  They are amazing examples of success…faithfulness over decades.

And I get to be their friend.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment