If you are like me, you are just a little shocked that Christmas is just around the corner…again! There’s something special about these days though, when lights are sparkling on the trees, the air is finally turning crisp, and the smell of evergreen is permeating the house, that always makes me a little nostalgic…it makes me begin to think back over my life and the blessings that have “overtaken” (Deut. 28) me in my journey. It’s a time I remember the people who have influenced my life and and although many have already left this world for Heaven, they made such an impression on me that it still impacts my life to this day. In recent years, I have preached messages about this very thing…people impacting the next generation. It is a passion of mine, actually! When I look in the Word, there are so many references to training up the next generation. What a tremendous responsibility and opportunity, from the parents to the spiritual leaders, to help shape the lives of the next history makers! I must admit, my heart is challenged with this responsibility. At a time when the “politically correct” movement has infiltrated even our churches, I realize more than ever that brave and bold men and women must be willing to speak the truth of the Word of God to this present generation!
And the more I have the opportunity to spend time with them, the more I realize that they hunger for just that…truth, authenticity, passion, conviction and the power of God that changes people’s lives!
I can name countless people that seemed like just good, ordinary people who loved God…but they were so much more than that to me. They helped shape my life through speaking the truth in love to me when I was out of step in my walk with God. They helped shape my life by testifying of miracles they were experiencing in their lives as they prayed, fasted, and trusted God for deliverance. They helped shape my life by teaching me to be still and hear the voice of God for direction, for comfort, for instruction. Just ordinary people who loved God. Ordinary people, like you and me, but used mightily for His Kingdom. People are so kind and encouraging, telling me what a blessing this ministry has been to them…and I am very grateful. But I will tell you truthfully, it is the “Elijah’s” in my life who helped me to see past my insecurities and begin to see our Lord as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace who desires to do amazing feats through me! So here’s my question to you…Have you seized opportunities to speak life into others? Has God opened the door for you to pour into this generation, but you have wavered because you thought you were no longer relevant? Have you shuffled your feet in hesitation considering your testimony to be too insignificant to make a difference?
I want to encourage you this Christmas season to begin something new! Spend some time with your grandson, a college student, a newly married young woman, a brand new dad, and give a gift that will last forever!
Make a decision to live your faith out loud!
Tell them how God has brought you through impossible situations, healed your children, restored your marriage, turned your finances around! Encourage them to desire more of God as they watch your life of surrender to Him! Speak the Word of God into their lives, and do it in faith, believing God will take the seeds you sow and turn them into a mighty harvest for this NOW generation!!
Thank you for the opportunity to share a little of your time during this wonderful Christmas season! We wanted to give you a quick update about our personal lives and ministry. God has been so absolutely amazing to Curt and me over this last year. We have sold our house in Athens, Georgia and will be moving to Zebulon, Georgia at the beginning of 2016! We made the decision to move to be closer to our family and so we can eat more of Mom’s home cooking! 🙂 As for the ministry, we are continually overwhelmed by God’s favor! We are very close to being completely booked for 2016 and are continuing to trust God for the end-time harvest. Words cannot begin to describe what we have had the privilege of seeing God do this year and completely trusting Him to not only continue, but to increase! Please continue to keep us in your hearts as you pray. We know many attacks of the enemy are thwarted because of the intercession of prayer warriors!
Also, if you are interested in being a financial partner with us and would like to have a tax credit for 2015, there are several ways to do this. You can send a check to PO Box 82441, Athens, GA 30608. There is also a “donate” button on the home page of our website, www.bethstephens.org. Or, feel free to contact our office at 706-424-5250, and we can assist you further with this matter. We are very thankful for your partnership as it allows us the opportunity to continue serving in the capacity God has called us to in this season!
I pray the days ahead will be filled with joy as you spend time with your family! Merry Christmas!!