Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Throw in the Towel or Throw Down the Gauntlet?

Here's a terrifying stat: In 20 years, 4% of todays youth will be committed followers of Jesus Christ. What are we going to do?
Two options: throw in the towel or throw down the gauntlet (mid-evil metal glove).

I recently read a great quote from Rev. Jesus Urteaga:

“Amid the ruins and debris of our pitiable humanity there are still women and men who hold the secret of that solution. And don’t say there are hardly any left. There are enough to found a new race, a noble race, of human being. These are people whose hearts are saturated with God: courageous men and women; passionate followers of Christ; ‘crazy’ people bursting with faith, bursting with hope, bursting with love. They alone have the secret which others vainly seek.”

There's no need to throw in the towel, but it will take a concerted effort to change the tide. In 1993, I heard the voice of Jesus. He said: "Will you risk everything for the next generation?

I've tried to live my life since then with a focus on radically investing in young adults.

For the last 3 1/2 years I have served two ministries: The Expansion Network and The International House of Prayer. I direct The Apostolic Mission School in Kansas City. I get to pour my life into fathering a generation of young people who are saturated with God.

This year, it has been difficult to live as a missionary to the next generation. We trust in Jesus and depend on partners who will help support us.


You could give a monthly gift or a one time gift.

We receive tax deductible support at:
The Expansion Network
4513 East 110th Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64137

I trust that this year you will be bursting with faith, hope and love!

In His Amazing Grace,

Rich Stevenson

PS. If you hurry and get your check in the mail by the 31st, you get tax credit for this year! (It would really help us as well!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top Ten Things to Say About a Bad Christmas Present

10. Hey! There's a gift!
9. Well, well, well ...
8. Boy, if I had not recently shot up 4 sizes that would've fit.
7. This is perfect for wearing around the basement.
6. Gosh. I hope this never catches fire! It is fire season though. There are lots of unexplained fires.
5. If the dog buries it, I'll be furious!
4. I love it -- but I fear the jealousy it will inspire.
3. Sadly, tomorrow I enter the Federal Witness Protection Program.
2. To think -- I got this the year I vowed to give all my gifts to charity.
And the Number One Thing to say about a Christmas gift you don't like:
1. "I really don't deserve this."

Am I a Missionary?

I live in a great house on a cul de sac in the suburbs of Kansas City. Can I really be a missionary?
If I had to defend my case, I could describe visiting 10 nations in the last 12 months. I could describe the young missionaries I am investing my life in through the school that I direct.
This is not a job like most have. Our ministry, The International House of Prayer, functions as a "missions base." We have a university with over 1,000 students attending. And a young adult can attend all four years for the price of one semester in most colleges.
How do we do it?

My generation has surrendered to a "missionary lifestyle" so that tuition can be extremely low. We trust Jesus to move in the lives of faithful partners so that our needs are financially met by others.

Do I like it?

Most of the time, no. I have not fully surrendered to the humility necessary to always ask, or to the vulnerability of having our finances totally out of my control.

Am I growing spiritually because of it?

Yes. God is after our dependence and this lifestyle forces me to pray and to believe.

Do we need more partners?

Absolutely. I am committed to asking more and more this year. Here goes: Would you partner with us?

You can send your support to:

The Expansion Network
4513 East 110th Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64137

Or you can use paypal by going to, clicking "personal" and using this e-mail address:

Thank you so much for your willingness to partner with us.


KC Christmas

This is a great picture of the Plaza in Kansas City at Christmas time. There are 80 miles of lights with over 280,000 multi-colored bulbs. That's a lot of holiday cheer!

There might be only one display that had to be greater: "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests'." (Luke 2:13,14)
Can you imagine how all those fiery angels lit up the dark Bethlehem skyline?
The Plaza is breathtaking...the angels announced the coming of the "breath of life."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jesus Stays Up!

Lately I’ve been thinking about Peter’s experience in the boat when he saw Jesus walking on the water. Do you remember? Jesus had sent the disciples on ahead of Him while he prayed. In the middle of the night, a furious squall came upon them while they were on the water. Perhaps Peter, more than any other, knew the danger they were in. He had probably seen bodies wash up on the shore from storms like this before. Can you imagine the panic of the disciples, especially the white collared guys like Matthew and Thomas? Peter must have had his hands full keeping both the boat and the men steady!
All of a sudden, there he was. . .Jesus was walking on the water! Right there in the midst of the waves and the wind, Jesus was WALKING ON THE WATER! One of the best lines in the Bible is when Peter says to the Lord, “If it is you, tell me to come.” Isn’t that great?!? Peter is not going to get out of the boat for just any Joe walking on the water in the fourth watch of the night! He wants to be sure that it is Jesus.
Jesus tells him to come, and then it happens. . .Peter gets out of the boat and he WALKS ON WATER!
Don’t jump too fast to the part where he looks around, taking his eyes off Jesus and sinks. Don’t move too quickly to the wonderful reality that Jesus snatches him from the waves and saves him. Peter WALKED ON THE WATER!!! The same power that was in Jesus went into Peter. AMAZING!
Do you think that Peter showed exceptional faith? I’m not sure. What if Peter’s thought process went like this: “This boat is going down. . .and Jesus is staying up!” Where would you have gone?
There is something in that story for us right now! It seems like so many things are going down all around us. The economy, morality, your retirement investments. . .
I want to remind you that no matter how strong the wind and the waves get in this present storm, JESUS IS STAYING UP! And if you will respond to Him in faith (i.e. get out of the boat), the same power that is in Him will flow through you!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Age of Rage

Not too long ago, I was reading an article that described the culture that we are living in as "an age of rage." Apparently, one in seven of us are right now on the verge of exploding in an act of rage.
At his moment, I am sitting in a room filled with 27 people...that means that roughly four of us may be ready to blow our top when pushed.
I guess I better be careful!

Most people recommend that people who struggle with anger issues receive "anger management" treament.

Is that the best we can do? Manage our anger?

I believe that we can experience healing for our anger. One of the keys to this experience of healing is this: refuse to presume someone else's motive.
We are often really ticked at someone because we have played out the whole scenario and we assume that we know exactly why someone treated us badly.

Train yourself not to presume motive. You can never really know someone else's heart.

But the best key to anger healing is this: real forgiveness. It's not's doing what you know is right regardless of how you feel. It's always harder than the sermons make it out to will be miserable before you are free. But once you push through as an act of your can be healed of anger!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means to Me!

I've done a lot of weddings over the years, but as I prepared to give a meditation in my son's recent wedding, I saw something that I had never seen before.
In Ephesians 5, one of the challenges given to the bride is to "respect" her husband. What does that mean?
The definition that most of us are aware of has to do with admiring or having esteem for someone. But what about the literal definition?

The Latin root of respect means to look and to look back again.

Think about that. . .the same Latin root is in our word: spectacles (eyeglasses). Wives have a major responsibility to watch and keep watching their husbands. What should they see? They should see a husband who loves his wife just as Christ loves the church.

Who you think the husband then has to be watching over and over again?

Wow! Respect is huge in marriage! Where is Aretha when you need her?

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit) A little respect (just a little bit)