Thursday, December 25, 2014


December 25th – a day of many traditions. To many people, this is Jesus birthday. To some, it is the day a fat elf invaded their house and left gifts. To one group , it is a magical day of wonder. And there are others that view it as paganistic rituals perpetuated on the winter solstice.

This isn't to discourage you in what you do. It's simply a survey of a holiday – marred by my worldview.

The tradition my parents decided on was to not lie to their kids. So, I grew up not celebrating Christmas. A tradition that as I reached adulthood have decided is worth keeping with.

If you and your family do Santa Clause, you are aware it is a lie. Sure it's innocent and keeps wonder and magic of the holiday. Alongside the lie you tell your children, do you also tell them the Birth story of our Savior Jesus? As they mature and find out you lied to them about one, on what grounds should they trust you concerning the other? So I pose the question here: How much should you lie to your children about?

Secondly. There is no proof for it being Jesus' Birthday, and your nativity scene is probably wrong.

According to scripture, the only clue we are given on timeframe is in Luke 2, which tells us that the shepherds were in the field with their flocks. The latest this occurs is into the fall, September or October: Which sets the stage for His birth to have been during one of the Biblical feasts; Also known as God's holidays. All the other major aspects of Jesus' life were set by God's calendar, why would His birth be different?

Now, as for your nativity scene being wrong. 3 wise men- Biblically inaccurate. There was a caravan large and impressive enough to be stopped and questioned by the governor of the region as to their purpose. There is a train of thought that there may have been as many as 50 wise men.

They didn't see Jesus in the manger. After 8 days Jesus was circumcised, and after her purification: another 33 days she presented her offering of 2 turtledoves; an article of the law made for the poor that could not afford a lamb ( see Leviticus 12) and if the wise men had presented their gifts fit for a king, then Mary and Joseph could have easily afforded a lamb. There also is no Biblical proof for Mary to have had a donkey to ride, and knowing that they couldn't afford a lamb, it is reasonable to assume they didn't own a donkey.
My question here: Why then December 25?

I have not done the research on other traditions of this holiday . Like the tree, Which is possibly referenced in Jeremiah 10:3-4, although that passage is arguably referencing carved idols made of wood, silver and gold.

Anyhow, I like to do my research on these matters and decide if they are Christian. We certainly were never told to celebrate the day of Jesus birth. There are however Holy days that at least the children of Israel were told to celebrate forever, and every Major aspect of what God has done in history was based on those days. But we tend to disregard them, and say our traditions honor Christ....

Merry Christmas yall

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Here are some of my thoughts on prophesy, or rather prophesying.

There is the possibility that I am posting this because I need social interaction that I am able to release my thoughts on this subject in. I write because my thoughts are more organized this way and I wont know if you just stop reading in the middle. ( hence why I am a writer and not a preacher)

Prophets are weird, they come in different types that hear in various ways ( Hebrews 1:1) but they are different. Possibly because of the way in which they hear from God

( Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream.
“Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household;
With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
And he beholds the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

Numbers 12:7-8)

So Moses was the only prophet that God spoke plainly to, the rest it was in dark sayings, dreams and visions, and parable. So being a prophet is well...weird. However it is a guarntee that what you see from God , or speak from words just coming forth, that it is the revealed plan of God.

(“For the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared;
who will not fear?
The Lord God has spoken;
who can but prophesy?

Amos 3:7-8)

So we see that we have God's word that He will not act without first revealing it to the prophets, my personal thoughts on this are that any can hear what is spoken, in the same way that a lion's roar will bring fear to all, God's speaking can be heard. That does not mean it is understood.

(“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had
thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. John 12:27-30)

The entire crowd heard, but there wasn't even an agreement among them as to what had happened. There are however ways to hone how you hear from God. Spend time among prophets, either people
you know that prophesy or reading the prophets, and most importantly seeking God on how. One of my other thoughts is that it's not just the church that is hearing the voice of prophesy, it is all with ears to hear; saved or unsaved. In Joel 2 and Acts 2 it says that God will pour out His spirit on all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy, it doesn't say to all who are saved. But back to hearing, and spending time with the prophets. In 1 Samuel 10 King Saul ends up among the company of the prophets, where he begins to prophesy, so strongly that a parable goes throughout the land " is Saul also among the prophets?" When I am operation under prophetic unction, and get a word, usually my wording in ways resembles Isaiah, that is where I spend much of my time in scripture. However there have been visions and encounters that I don't know how to put into words, or what I can say on them doesn't mean anything to people other than me. ( once again being a prophet is weird )

I have more I can say on prophetic acts, how I think the outpouring on all flesh is seen through media, how prophesy and intercession should go hand in hand, how the Exodus story is in play today, how prophesy is not for the purpose of destruction but to build up (anyone can see that someone has a problem, prophesy shows their potential). But I am finished for the moment.
Stephen T. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Paradigm shift

        Last week marked a change in my life as it shifted my thinking. I have not yet finished thinking through aspects of the foregone conclusions, and the subsequent questions raised. This shift came as a result of CFNI's Missions focus week.  I came to CFNI to train to go into the missions field, as that is the direction I have been bent towards since about age 12. I didn't realize how necessary workers were needed in " the harvest" abroad, About 41% of the worlds population belong to unreached people groups .....what about the needs at home? 90% of trained ministers live in America. As I have reflected on things like this I realized that ( Apart from at CFNI) the number of missionaries to foreign countries I have met in my life I don't even need to use both hands to count.
       So what are some of the conclusions I have drawn from this?
.1 I need to take serious this 3 years of training I have before me, A task for which College is wholly inadequate to accomplish in itself. ( I need to A. learn to minister cross culturally B. develop speech-craft ; I can't for the life of me open a conversation with someone I don't know   C.  Learn effective street evangelism; I went with a friend Saturday to do some evangelism at a local mall, and found my ability to be lacking. )    .2 get others involved; If I go to China, or India, spend the rest of my life there and see 10,000 souls saved, then there has been no distinguishable dent made in the 2.9 Billion out there without the good news. So the solution becomes, before I leave get as many people as possible into the field, or supporting the ones there.  .3 Be able to effectively argue the case for missions: In a world that claims that truth is subjective, what need is there to tell people what the truth is? There is a moral relativism that is embraced by most, and my shift in thinking this past week is when I realized I had bought into it ( More on that when I have thought more about it).....

Sorry about the unrefined format of my blog, I write straight from where I am thinking, and would probably scrap the whole thing if I started to refine it......Its a point of weakness I have.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A time of repreve, better known as spring break

 During spring break I went on a memorial trip- In remembrance of my brother Bill.
For the trip I visited his grave, and also went and did several of the things I should have done with him while he was still here.
 Mainly, I stopped my life for a day of remembrance, done by getting away from the city, and into the wilderness. So I stent the day at the Wichita Mountains wildlife refuge in Oklahoma. Seen above is Jed Johnson lake.

 This lake reminded me of a lame joke- What did the engineers say when they found a stream here, and they wanted a lake? Dammit.
 And here is the nice little lake that came about from it- Lost lake
 The town of Medicine Park- from the top of Mt. Scott
 And lake Lawtonka, also from Mt. Scott
 and to finish off my day I went to Meers Restaurant, a place Bill was always saying we needed to go to.

and a couple other pictures I took while out hiking.

I miss you Bill.

 Also, one thing I had reiterated while I had this time to think and reflect is this. We need to be taking time to spend with family, intentionally, doing something to make memories, at least once a year would be nice.  I say this because I still feel like a stranger among my cousins, it seems like we only see each other at funerals, and it would be nice to make memories with them. We had a family rafting trip annually a few years back, but it tapered off. Any ideas?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Life in the fast lane.

   Dallas is a busy city. I should just stop my post there, as it would convey the entire thought of what I am going to say over the course of the next couple paragraphs anyways.  If you know me on Facebook, you may know that at this point I have 2 jobs, and am a full time student. I know, I am as busy as a Jew (sorry, old nature showing).  In all that I am doing, I am trying to prepare for the path I would like to see my life take, and that is on into the missions field.
    So how does all this translate to my life on the missions field? Well, the education I am getting here prepares me to be able to present a clear case for the Gospel, no matter who I am sharing with, as this school encourages you to think, and to listen to people from different perspectives than you have, so that you are firmly established in your convictions. Also, you get assignments that can challenge you to be able to present a case for what is important to you.
    I am currently working on an opinion paper on the love of God, and why that trait of God is important to me. Sounds simple right?
Well, it has had me studying scripture so I am able to present a case for the love that God extends to us.  Yes, it's as simple John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  But you can brk it down to the Greek, and see that the word love there is derived from agape, which is to value something or someone, to put a premium on. As opposed to the phileo love, which is to hold someone in affection, and intimacy. Jesus said that " the best way to show those that you hold in affection that you place value in them is to lay down your life for them" "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for His friends"
      Also, my work is preparing me for the missions field. My first job, as a valet runner has my body going past the point of exhaustion. I worked as a runner for 14 hours Saturday. Most days I am able to run from the lot to the valet sight the entire night. Well, after about 11 hours your muscles don't really want to run anymore.....So you walk a few steps and press on. My second job I start Wednesday, well I don't know what it is teaching me for the missions field yet.
     My student ministry is also an important aspect to consider. I was calculating in choosing it, and that is English tutor for the international students. I chose it because I wanted that skill to help facilitate my stays in wherever God calls me to. I have learned from it how much tenacity it takes to learn a language that is not your primary language. I have to say I am really proud of all these international students that are working towards learning English.
     Beyond the academics, the physical training, the ministry, even the spiritual side of this is one side
that must be there is love (agape), without that element all that I am doing here is for naught. I think that is the most important lesson I have realized here. All of this is good, We are told to love the lord with our heart, mind, and strength. So I will continue to press on toward the high calling I have in  Yeshua.

See, I told you that the next few paragraphs would be worth your time.
Thanks for reading,   Stephen

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Moving Foward

   Wow, today has been awesome. I am better from feeling a little green around the gills over the weekend. So, I am able to get back to what I like my days to look like, namely going to pray in the morning (going being leaving my room, so as to not disturb my room mates). But I also had a team meeting this morning, team meeting being for an outreach I will be doing for school. I am getting some hands on training in what I have come to learn  to be.
    The Trip: Brasil outreach 2014, the region of Bahia, Salvador and surrounding area.
 Bahia is a region stricken with poverty, sexual perversion and sex trafficking, drugs, witchcraft, occult activity. and has a long history of this heavy demonic influence.
 In this environment many children are abandoned, or abducted and started into drugs at an early age to get them addicted. Once addicted they are turned into sex slaves to feed the addiction, these orphans are also used as hitmen for drug rings, used as human sacrifice in demonic rituals, or simply abandoned to die on the streets.
 As mentioned before, witchcraft, voodoo, and other "black arts" are  prevalent. This comes from the cultural influences that formed this area. This area was Native south Americans, conquered and subjugated to their conquerors who came to the region to gain the gold. Also, into this area came many African slaves, that were never "re-cultured" to fit the form their masters wanted, but they brought with them their voodoo, suspicions, and the witchcraft culture. Since it was Spain who conquered them there came a heavy catholic religious influence, which compromises the values of the church anyhow to let in witchcraft and the like.  
    From this we see a culture that is bound in darkness, with a "Church" that isn't able to offer hope, for they are just as bound as the people.

    What we will be doing as a team is, we will be going out on the streets praying for the sick, and those held in bondage, And we will see them healed and set free (I guarantee it). We will be going into the school to minister to the children, to see generational chains broken, and A new generation whose reality is they have seen the LIVING GOD!  We will be on the streets ministering the same freedom to the children the state doesn't recognize. We will also be partnering with a local orphanage to love on these kiddos, and impart to them identity: They are chosen and precious in His sight.
   We will be using the arts to share the gospel in creative ways, largely based from music and drama.
If you have never had the  opportunity to see  the gospel displayed in some type of drama, you are missing out, just saying.

 I have more to say about this trip, but I am currently constrained by time
  Love , Stephen

Time frame May 2014.....most of the month.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

How old am I really?

  Okay, so I have been making friends while here ( good job I know), and some of them are even around my age. While the ones that fall into my age category are really fun to play around with, I usually don't seem to be able to hold a conversation with them. I have wondered why this is, and the best reasoning I can come up with is in a lot of ways I feel like I am more mature than my peers.
   I realized today at lunch that the people I most readily talk to are old enough to be my dad, and are often former military. I am an old soul trapped in a young mans body!  Now if you know me at all you are probably thinking, " you, mature? yeah right!". But I think in some ways it may be the social environment I grew up in, my main peers were family and I think as a whole we are all mature for our age. ( Homeschoolers!)
    Personality I am sure also plays into it a lot I am sure, like I have decided to take responsibility seriously, and have for some time pursued to have a self disciplined life.. ( I have failed at this many times, I freely admit) If you want to go into psychology on this, it could be compensation in some areas of personality to try to make up for areas I never let develop, reasons for this lack of development vary in cause from person to person.
   One area I will admit to not ever letting develop would be relating to girls (terrifying creatures, especially if I have any sort of attraction to one)
I have long known that this is a problem, but I honestly don't know how to let the perfectly normal, healthy God given part of my personality that is my sexuality develop. I buried it as something dark, and ungodly in my early teen years. ( as our culture has made it something shameful)  So if I had an attraction develop, I would either have my entire personality shut down around that person, or I became a jack-ass.
    As an over compensation for this weak point I developed rigorous self discipline for spirit, and also body at different points as I grew up. Hoping that  in maturing I would get past inner vows that I bound myself with in other areas of my personality. I am learning that when you don't let an area develop as it should, it doesn't develop until you let it.   Two great books on this subject that I am  in the process of reading are : Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge. And: Changes that Heal  by Dr. Henry Cloud.
                       Anyhow, thank you for reading, I hope I didn't say anything more than you wanted to know about me. As I am still learning about myself, and why I am not yet who I want to be, but maybe being open with you helped you. Either way be blessed

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What am I doing here? ( In a good sense)

As odd as this is I would like to start off with an apology,
 I am apologizing because I was going to post some of the live worhip that was going on down in the lobby. We had several students gathered around, and 3 guitars out and we spent an hour and a half just in worship down in the lobby. It was during that time I got the idea to get my microphone, and computer out to share with yall.....I did record it and cut some tracks,  (there was still background noise, but we are in the lobby of the mens dorms, not a studio) but my computer ate the tracks before I could upload them.

    Now may be the time to mention how talented of students we have here, the people that we have training today will be the worship leaders we have on the radio tomorrow, I do draw on past examples of this as part of my reasoning for this statement, Kari Jobe being a CFNI graduate. But I also draw the conclusion because of the things really emphasized here are pursuing excellence,  and personal discipline. ( it looks like I phrased that weird)

   I have drawn conclusions about myself in this atmosphere,among them are yes I have pursued discipline, but maybe not excellence. I have for the most part remained debt-free in my life, but I never saved money for the future. I prayed, fasted, and studied the word before, but never really had an overflow where I affected others lives (intentionally). I kept to a diet and exercise enough to not be fat and lazy, but not enough to maintain health long term. I worked hard, yet without advancing in responsibility. All this to say, I was a man without vision, and where there is no vision the people perish ( or they are unrestrained) I only looked far enough to avoid the "no's" in life , I wasn't making a difference in this dying world. I have really been seeking what God wants to do in and through my life.   Among the endeavors I want to pursue are missions, but I think God has also placed in me a vision to help launch young artists into their destiny , so I will be looking into the production side of the music industry, and also seeking to honor God in the abilities He has given me in music by training in them (my vision right now doesn't have leading worship for thousands, but I want to be excellent when I offer praise to him on my instrument of 6 strings). But my prayer is that from this place I would always pursue excellence in all endeavors, not settle for anything less than what He has for me.
                Thank you all, blessings upon you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So so busy!

     Well I write this in the few minutes between breakfast and class today because I haven't talked to you, my adoring fans in a week or so. CFNI is really good! I have been stretched, made to better know my Bible, keep in a place of prayer, and been studying as often as I can. Beyond that, I have been looking for work; Its coming soon I know. But last night I did take off from all my hard work to go to the kickoff party for the men's dorms.
    The kickoff party was a lot of fun, we had a jungle pingpong tournament, I sucked at. We had a manly arm wrestling tournament, I lost but think I did good considering the competition was much buffer than me. BUT!!! we also had an eating contest (also very manly) And this one I won!!!! We had a plate of food that we had to eat< without using our hands, it was something like 4 and 1/2 hot dogs and 5 biscuits. It was I the competitor from the 9th floor, weighing in at 160 lbs, that was best able to stuff his face!  And my prize for this fierce competition?
 And after being given my prize I led about 10 guys in this workout.

     Thank yall for reading, God bless.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Learning what to expect

Today I have more orientation, woohoo! Yesterday was the academic orientation, and with it the first assignment. An autobiography by Freda Lindsey, that chronicles both her faith walk after the passing of her husband, and the history of CFNI. It is really a good assignment, as I get to see the history of the school I am at and how God has provided for them more than they could ask or imagine.
As I read the history of CFNI, the psalms, exodus, and of about anywhere else God has moved, I start to realize “Wow I can’t do this on my own”. I knew that I couldn’t change the world before on my own before I got here, but my study so far has made me realize just how desperately I do need His grace to accomplish what He has called me to.
 It is as one of the students here told me, this is a place you come knowing about God, not a place fresh converts usually start, but seasoned believers come and they change. Their understanding of God changes, mindsets change. 
So in all this what I want to say is that this is where I needed to be, even if I didn’t know how much til after I arrived here. God has great things in store here! Thank you for reading, Peace out. 

Continued from This morning, I had the deans orientation this morning and got to learn all the things I have to do to succeed, and all the things I'm not allowed to do. Basically they went over the rules I looked up before I got here in the student handbook. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hello Everyone!

 My name is Stephen, and I have been called to change the world. I start this blog at the onset of my new life at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas. I am going to pray what my posts are "supposed to look like. This is also for the people back home that want to keep up with me and my life.

 I have started settling in here at school, and one of my stories at this point is as follows.
 I moved to Dallas by the strength provided by God, and the finances he provided*. And immediately started to try to wrest control of my direction from God, I was hard at it on job hunting , figuring exactly what my schedule will look like, accounting for all I could. And continued like that for about a day and a half, and after becoming frustrated paused to pray. Amazing!! I hear God say "consider the ravens, how they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:24) So I backed off to listen for His voice as I send out applications, because He told me to let Him take care of it, and focus more on the reasons He brought me here.

For those of you back home that are wondering. Yes I can get homesick, I didn't know it til I picked up and moved somewhere foreign to me, but I really can. So keep me in your prayers, as I am here.

1* Thank you to all who have contributed to my schooling here .