Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Called to testify

New Heights Fellowship

609/613 Main Street

Toledo, Ohio 43605






At Twenty-Six years old I was married with one child. The bank owned my house and more my net worth was negative by a lot. The day my father and I went to but a riding lawn mower so I would not have to work so hard to mow the lawn that accompanied the house I realized I had purchased everything that I had ever thought I wanted. We worked all the time. Sherri and I were managers in the restaurant business and we hardly ever saw each other and never saw our daughter together unless it was a vacation day.

    It just hit me that there had to be something more to this life than debt, collecting things, and surviving. So, Sherri and I started attending the church where the only person we knew that seemed to us like what we thought a Christian should be went. After six months of sitting in the pews I began to see that what the pastor was talking about applied to me.

    As a non-Christian I was deathly afraid of looking out of place. We had done all the things that we thought it would take to fit in. We even put money in the offering plate every Sunday. I could not get up in front of people. I had missed dozens of days of High School to avoid having to give oral reports in front of class. As a manager conducting meeting with people that I would oversee and could fire was still (because of my fear) a traumatic experience which included my heart racing, my palms sweating, and cotton-mouth so bad you could knit a sweater.

    Then God called me to go forward in front of everyone to proclaim my love for Him and to my surprise after some resistance, I did. That began the journey. Now I am a Pastor, Church Planter, and North American Mission Board Missionary. I speak in front of people and to strangers all the time. God has changed me. I used to care about almost nothing and nothing at all as much as me. Now, I care about the work of God and people who are dying and going to Hell.

    Since the beginning of our journey God has changed me, used me to lead people to Him, and gifted me to do what I know I never could have done. I am broken and humbled by His mercy and grace. I pray always that I may preach the word with Boldness. Often I wonder how anyone could ever preach it as boldly as it, as boldly as He deserves.

                                Daniel R. Stevenson