CHRISTMAS: The Coming of Forgiveness

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
— Jude 24-25

The remote tribal communities of the Western Desert had it on their hearts to celebrate Christmas on the first weekend of December. They believe this month is the open door to forgiveness… The time when we remember that God loved the world so much that He gave His most precious gift to break the curse of death and payback. Payback is when you choose to live in hatred and unforgiveness towards those who have hurt you in the past. For Aboriginal peoples this age old curse has been passed on from generation to generation, causing people to live in fear and bitterness. It is only broken when the blood of your enemy has been shed on the ground… which then reignites retaliation and the curse goes on.

When the Gospel of Jesus Christ first came to the ancient, nomadic peoples of the desert country his story changed everything. This man who came from God, the creator of all things lived a sinless life and was persecuted, despised and betrayed. He was beaten and hung on a criminal’s cross and took the spear of ‘payback’ in his side. He said "it is finished” as He forgave his enemies…. as His own blood was shed on the ground. He died and was buried and then God raised him up from the ground. He broke that curse forever and asks us to live by His new law of love and grace. He sent His Holy Spirit to help us.

So for three days and nights the people gathered and sang songs, shared stories and read from the Bible. The meetings went till after midnight and nobody cared. They were celebrating the coming of forgiveness. Thank you Jesus.

I greatly admire my Indigenous brothers and sisters. They know that the only answer is in the one who is able to keep you from falling. I see the joy in their faces despite the hardships of life in a complex modern world.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Godspeed,

Steve

Our 2020 Vision

 Pictured: A vintage 1967 Peterbilt under consideration for the future Eternity Truck vision.

Pictured: A vintage 1967 Peterbilt under consideration for the future Eternity Truck vision.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23

The Apostle Paul sure knew how to connect with people. Just like Jesus… wherever he travelled he was relevant to the needs and culture of the local people. We have that same desire.

Over the past 33 years we’ve done our best to present a simple Gospel message and encourage people living in rural and remote regions of Australia. God has miraculously provided great teams and the resources to tour the nation for every new season. We are now looking at the decade of 2020 - 2030 and asking the Lord how we can be even more effective…  The theme of ‘Hope for hurting towns’ does not leave us. Many local churches in country towns cannot afford the huge budgets attached to major evangelistic events yet in their tough seasons is when they need to hear the ‘Good News’ most. Our prayer is to raise $250,000 and build a 'state of the art’ mobile events stage that can serve country towns across Australia with quality evangelistic events for the coming decade. We’d love to reach a million Australians with the Gospel using the Eternity Truck!!! Just good old fashioned, community based friendship evangelism that tells people they are important to God… right where they live!

We envisage developing a regular TV program featuring the Eternity Truck as it travels to different locations of Australia…. similar the the popular TV series ‘Everytown Downunder’ which screens regularly on ACCTV and other networks globally.

We believe this is an exciting way to move ahead in mission. We know it will take an army of friends and ministry partners to bring the vision to life. Pray with us for God’s strategy for this vision. If you’d like to be involved join our ‘Everytown Partners’ mailing list - office@stevegrace.com

For those interested: The 1967 Peterbilt is a service truck at the moment and is equipped with a new 400 Cummins engine, a new 13 speed road ranger gearbox and brakes etc. It can be converted back to a truck / trailer combo. We reckon it would make a great flagship for the Eternity Truck vision. Pray with us!

Thanks so much for your friendship and support.

Godspeed,

Steve

The Hope of Heaven

 Pictured: Margaret Joyce Horsfall before she became Margaret Grace (circa 1955)

Pictured: Margaret Joyce Horsfall before she became Margaret Grace (circa 1955)

My father showed me a photograph of the young lady he fell in love with back in 1955-56. She was the cook in the kitchen at the Bible College he was attending in Sydney. Her enthusiasm and faith in God, her passion for life and missions was too much for the young man from a small country town in the central west of NSW. Not long after he completed his studies they married and trained to become missionaries. In early 1960 they embarked on an adventure serving Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea with two small children. My little brother Warwick was born there. In 1969 Mum developed a mystery illness and the Grace family were forced to return to Australia to seek medical advice. It took 7 years before doctors eventually diagnosed that she had been living with a brain tumour. Miraculously Mum survived the operation but it affected her quality of life in many ways. Despite her disability she lived every day full of faith and joy. She never lost her peace. She was an inspiration to many. In 1989 Mum went home to heaven and we have missed her ever since.

Some of the songs on the new ETERNITY album are there in memory of my mother. Songs that bring assurance and hope that heaven is very real and through faith in Jesus we live with its promise. That’s the hope of heaven. The hope of seeing our loved ones again in God’s presence forever. Other songs on the album were recorded at the request of elderly Aboriginal folks in remote communities who live with grief and sorrow constantly, yet never stop believing. I’m inspired by their love for the Lord and each other.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Thank you again for your friendship and support.

The Message of Eternity

There comes a moment when we all must realize that life is short, and in the end the only thing that really counts is not how others see us, but how God sees us.
— Billy Graham
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It’s been a humble journey to record and release this new album project. The support has come not from big business or big churches but from ordinary hard working people who believe in the vision. The generosity of farming families battling through drought inspires me to keep going with the mission to reach people for Christ and excite the local church in the task of evangelism. We honestly did not have the finances to do this new album and yet it will be available next week!!! Thank you for standing with us in prayer as it helps to ‘keep the ministry on the road’ for another fresh new season.

The songs on this album will encourage many… especially those looking for hope in a time of loss. For those with unanswered questions of life and death and eternity. These are songs of faith for the tough times, songs about the promise of heaven.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Thanks for your love and support.

Godspeed,

Steve

BACK TO BASICS

 Pictured: A vintage tractor near Kalispell, Montana.

Pictured: A vintage tractor near Kalispell, Montana.

Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say. When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil? When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and spelt in its field? His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.
— Isaiah 28:23-26

When you don’t know what to do or where you should be in life, its a good thing to get back to the basics. Life can be full of distractions and hinderances that cause you to lose the way. Regrets from the past can cripple your dreams. Doubts, depression and fear can render you immobile like an old tractor in the field. The longer it sits there the harder it is to get going.

Be careful of the voices you are listening to. Every day of your life you are bombarded with promises and propaganda from sources you would hope you can trust. But I’m learning that there is only one absolute firm foundation that you can build your future on. That is in knowing Jesus and hearing God’s voice clearer than the noise of the crowd and the latest headline news.

God reveals His best for you when you take time to hear His voice. Just like a good farmer, there is an order in which you carry out your plans in order to get a great outcome. God’s word teaches us to live simply and walk humbly and stay planted in what we were created to do. Don’t be discouraged.. Be encouraged. God is on your side and He will never give up on you. That’s good news.

Thanks for your prayers and partnership in our work.

Godspeed.

Steve

And don’t sit around too long thinking about it. Get out there and have a go!!! All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent.
— Isaiah 28:29

Droughts, Dreams and Destiny

 Pictured: Praying for a revival in the land and a refreshing new season for a drought stricken country.

Pictured: Praying for a revival in the land and a refreshing new season for a drought stricken country.

Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land dries up, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea are swept away.
— Hosea 4:1-3

The Bible has some pretty heavy words about times of desperation and drought. It’s usually about the arrogance of leaders and those in power and their hardness towards faith and humility. The people suffer when the leaders in the land ignore the mercy of God. Pride and fear destroy hope… and when people have no hope their is great loss and despair.

I look at my country Australia at the moment and I feel like my country has hardened its heart towards the grace and love of God. Our Political leaders have given in and lost control of our destiny.. So there is confusion and corruption. It can all change when as a nation we repent and turn from the acts of godlessness that break the heart of the creator. All of nature suffers when we don’t have a good relationship with God. But it can all change when we get back to the things that matter. It starts with us… with you and me.

I love that throughout history God has been merciful to His people when they humbly return to him and ask for help. That’s God’s heart and character. A merciful and compassionate father wanting to reach out and redeem all those who are lost. 

Thank God for Jesus.

Godspeed,
Steve

Tones & Tradition

 Pictured: The legendary Nashville session guitarist JT Corenflos at work on the new album.

Pictured: The legendary Nashville session guitarist JT Corenflos at work on the new album.

In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.
— Colossians 3:23

He moved to Nashville from a country town in Indiana at the age of 18 to pursue his music dreams. Now in his late 50’s JT Corenflos has recorded for and performed with many of the great names in modern country music. He’s considered an electric guitar legend in the Nashville scene.. working with stars like Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Don Hendley, George Jones, Brooks and Dunn, Alabama and Bob Seger…. the list goes on. Yet I have been genuinely humbled that every time I come to Nashville to record a new album JT is only too happy to put a few days aside and help create some amazing tracks for the new songs. JT is usually the last player in the studio at the end of each take.. perfecting his tones and getting just one more take to make the song even better. I observe in quiet admiration this country gentleman. He’s struggled with great physical challenges and battled with cancer.. yet still delights in turning up to make a recording project shine brightly.

Like the Psalmist of old, musicians like JT Corenflos were born with an eternal gift of creativity and music. It is a gift given by the creator of all things and I know when JT plays it comes from deep in his soul. The songs on this new album project are so much richer because of the contribution of a man who has devoted his life to the art of music. Thank you JT. 

Thanks also to friends and prayer partners who have supported us on this faith venture to produce another fine collection of songs that will be used to share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ and the hope we have because of all He has done for us! Songs about life, death and eternity.

Thanks again for your prayers and support.

Godspeed

Steve