The Travelling Life

Pictured: The planning and preparations for tours across Australia in 2019 - 2020

Pictured: The planning and preparations for tours across Australia in 2019 - 2020

“Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you”
— Genesis 26:3

I was inspired by this ancient verse in the Bible last week. To sojourn is to stay in a place for a short time.. for travellers to stop and wait, to be refreshed before going on with the journey. In context of the story Issac and his family were battling through a severe drought and making plans to move on from the land God had promised his father Abraham. That’s when God spoke ( ironically through the King of the Philistines, Abimelech ). It was an instruction to stay. Just because things were tough and discouraging God was encouraging Issac to keep believing in the promises He had given his father.

There are many stories of people in the Bible who were travellers… they lived nomadic lives and were always on a journey of faith. From Abraham to Moses to Jesus and Paul, their travel adventures were recorded for all time. We really like that because from the moment we stepped out in faith to serve God with the music ministry 35 years ago we haven’t stopped travelling.. our three boys have all grown up on the road to somewhere!! We have loved the opportunities to be able to travel.

But most of all.. It's so good to know that God will be with you and will bless you while you are seeking after His will in your life… even through the difficult seasons. There are times to ‘go' and there are times to ’sojourn’ and wait on the Lord, but be assured He is with you and will bless you.

Next week we head off to the USA to visit churches and spend some time with Jordan and Paige Grace in Nashville TN. We will be travelling again!! And sharing the vision of the Eternity Truck and future missions trips and ministry across Australia and the South Pacific.

Thanks for your friendship,

Godspeed

Faith Over Fear

Pictured: Steve and Kerrie at the ancient ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum, Israel.

Pictured: Steve and Kerrie at the ancient ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum, Israel.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7

G’day friends and family. Kerrie and I have just returned from a few weeks in Israel. It’s hard to describe in words the experience of travelling to this amazing little country. Israel is one third the size of Tasmania, has a population of 8.7 million Jews and Arabs and is considered one of the most influential nations on earth. The fact that Israel and the Jewish people’s even exist is a miracle. The greatest evidence that the Bible is historically true is that Israel is here today. It all comes to life as you travel the roads of a country that has known conflict and conquest since time began.

You learn a lot about yourself when you visit Israel. You learn about fear and faith, pride and humility. Throughout their turbulent history, whenever the children of Abraham hardened their hearts and turned to other gods, to idolatry and greed…. they met with captivity, slavery, poverty and destruction. But when they humbled themselves and stepped out in faith they were reconciled with God’s mercy, forgiveness, provision and blessings.

In thousands of years nothing much has changed. The evidence of history remains. We can choose to live life in pride and fear… or in humility, with faith in a God of unconditional love. A God who showed us His love through Christ’s death and resurrection. Be anxious for nothing and know that your future is secure in His peace and providence.

We loved visiting so many historic locations where Jesus healed the sick and ministered to multitudes, ancient synagogue’s and cities, ancient walls and roads from civilisations past. Looking forward to doing another trip to Israel next year.

A big thank you to Pastor Aaron and Paige Newman and the church family at Calvary Chapel Paso Robles CA for inviting us on the adventure!!!

Godspeed.

 

ISRAEL 2020 with STEVE & KERRIE GRACE

Suddenly Jerusalem

Pictured: Steve and Kerrie at King David’s citadel in the Old City, Jerusalem.

Pictured: Steve and Kerrie at King David’s citadel in the Old City, Jerusalem.

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, His holy mountain.
— Psalm 48:1

The past few weeks have had some faith building challenges, some great sadness and some unexpected miracles. From getting the news of the death of our good friend John Smith… the news that the turbo in our Isuzu Motorhome had blown up… delays in our ministry visa application to the USA and an incredible time with churches in Western Australia and work on the new trailer stage.

Remarkably... I’m writing this from Jerusalem, Israel. 2019 is sure turning out to be a year of change.

We’ve been dreaming about returning to Israel for years now. Then ‘out of the blue’ an invitation came from a Calvary Chapel fellowship in California asking us to help host a tour group for 10 days. To be honest…. We are blown away with gratitude for the opportunity!! It just happened to be at the same time as our 38th wedding anniversary and Kerrie’s birthday. We’ve had a few days to ourselves before the tour starts to be in Jerusalem, to walk the streets, enjoy traditional food and meet some very colourful Arabic and Israeli people.

We are so thankful to the Lord for His provision and the sudden opportunities that come along!!!!

Thanks again for your ongoing love and support.

Godspeed,

Steve

 

The Day of Small Beginnings

Pictured: Last Sunday night in the Two Rivers Aboriginal church in Mooroopna Victoria. Matthew, Steve, George and our good mate Dave Graffin. Photo credit: Ian Bail.

Pictured: Last Sunday night in the Two Rivers Aboriginal church in Mooroopna Victoria. Matthew, Steve, George and our good mate Dave Graffin. Photo credit: Ian Bail.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.
— Zechariah 4:10

In recent weeks I’ve had the privilege to stand on the stages of the largest concert venues in Australia, before over 45,000 people. I’ve sung my songs in Darwin, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney serving the Graham Tour with Franklin Graham and artists from the USA. Trentan Kruger and I got to fly on planes and stay in motels and turn up at the backstage entrance of stadiums with ALL ACCESS tags around our necks. We got to take part in the morning prayer and Bible studies with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association team. We got to do sound check with a world class production team and look out at the thousands of empty seats ready to be filled. It was an incredible experience. Watching as hundreds came forward in response to Franklin’s invitation every night and counsellors assisting in prayer and encouragement.

And then when its all over…. Its back on the road doing what I’ve loved doing for 34 years. About 45 people turned up the the Two Rivers Aboriginal Church last Sunday night ready to lift the roof off with worship and praise!!! Pastor Joey Day welcomed us and the presence of the Holy Spirit filled the small historic church. Nearly everyone in the place came forward for prayer. People hungry for more of God’s love and grace in their lives. It was a great night of ministry.

From big city stadium crusades to little country churches… the message never changes. What an honour it is to see people reconciled to the Father’s love through faith in Jesus.

Never despise your day of small beginnings. Always be willing to go to the smallest of places to tell people they are important to God… Just as they are.

Thanks so much for your support.

Godspeed.

Steve

The Message of Eternity

Pictured: Steve sharing the word at LifeHouse Church, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Pictured: Steve sharing the word at LifeHouse Church, Coffs Harbour, NSW

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
— Ecclesiastes 3:10-11

It’s good to be back on the road and into 2019. So far.. this year has lots of open dates on the calendar but we always love seeing it fill up. There’s plenty of invitations to churches in the USA so I know there will be a few months of touring over there. Otherwise we have plans for more events in outback Australia, in Papua New Guinea and even the Solomon Islands. There’s opportunity for a new TV series, a book and plans for a 2020 national tour!!! Exciting visions and dreams ahead.

33 years ago Kerrie and I took a nervous leap of faith into the unknown realm called ‘full time ministry’. We knew we were called for more than settling for a predictable, comfortable life. We’ve made plenty of mistakes and taken a few wrong turns along the way. We’ve learned that even when you get off track God is still there and never stops loving you. When you start out on a new venture.. He is there… When you come to the end of yourself… He is there. He uses the very things that the world and the devil intend to destroy you with to define you.

The God of all creation delights in using people like you and me to represent His eternal kingdom. He makes everything beautiful in its time and enables you to accomplish great things despite your lack of faith or inabilities. Don’t wait till you are ‘qualified’ because you never will be. Don’t wait till you have it all together because you probably never will. Nobody else on this planet can be the best version of you, like you can be. So love God and love people like He does and get on with living for eternity!!

Jesus came to earth to break the curse of death and sin. He made a way for us to live in an eternal relationship with God. He has good plans for us all and I believe we can trust Him for the road ahead!!

Get out there and go for it!!

Godspeed,

Steve

 

Become a partner in the Eternity Truck vision.

A New Year

Pictured: Steve and the corrugated iron Lutheran mission church at Haasts Bluff in the western desert NT.

Pictured: Steve and the corrugated iron Lutheran mission church at Haasts Bluff in the western desert NT.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
— Psalm 100:5

In September 2019 I will have the privilege of turning 60 years old… and so does the old steel framed, corrugated iron Lutheran Mission Church in the remote Northern Territory community of Haasts Bluff. This iconic building has served the people of Ikuntji country well. I remember my first visit, back in the winter of 1995 during a revival that had taken place. My mate and professional photographer Ken Duncan had called me and said “ Get out there mate! They love your songs! Your songs have been part of this revival!”

The church was freshly painted, brilliant white with a glossy British 'racing green' concrete floor. Entry was forbidden except on Sunday’s so all meetings were held from the front porch with people huddled around campfires on the ground outside. Revival ‘Singalong’s’ would happen every night and go until the firewood ran out. The entire community attended with a desire to be free of the addiction to grog and gambling, and the ongoing conflicts between clan’s. The Gospel message and singing together became the common cause for peace and unity.

And so it is with life… without the unconditional grace of God over our lives we seem to live in conflict…. striving to make it on our own and focus only on our selfish desires rather than the needs of others. We were not created to be greedy, we were born to give, to be generous with our lives. That’s where real faith and fulfilment come from.

As we step into a brand new year may our hearts be fixed on matters that make people and make history.

Thank you for your friendship and love.

Godspeed.

Steve

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.