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PenandPaper2Hello there ...

Sita and I have spent close to fifty years together in Christian leadership - from the early 1960s, through the revivals of the 1970s, and, finally, following in the wake of those revivals, the momentous changes that began occurring within the church during the 1980s and 1990s - changes that continue to the present - changes that have transformed the very soul of the church, radically altering the paradigms that at one time governed and guided her. For 28 of those years, I served as a senior pastor. We've walked through it all, giving us a perspective that only personal experience can provide. We want to share that perspective with you, trusting that you'll benefit by it. We know that the future of the church is in your hands, not ours.

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Doug and Sita Shearer

Ray Stedman

StedmanNot long after Ray Stedman passed away in the Fall of 1992, Sita and I visited his wife Elaine at her home in southern Oregon. For several years before Ray died, a small group of pastors, seminary professors, and Bible college teachers had been meeting with Ray and Elaine in their home along the Rogue River - trying to reach a consensus regarding some troublesome issues that were then vexing the evangelical church; e.g., demonic deliverance, the nature of the church, the mission of the church, sanctification, recurring heresies, etc. We gave ourselves the name The Rogue River Fellowship - not merely because we were meeting along the Rogue River, but because of the disparate make-up of our group - representing Pentecostals, charismatics, and traditional evangelicals.

After visiting with Elaine for several hours in her home, she invited us to Ray's grave site - and there on his grave stone was an epitaph she'd had engraved. It read, "A faithful steward." Nothing else could have been more fitting. Ray had indeed finished the course God had set before him - and he'd crossed the line at full throttle - a faithful steward to the end.

What about you and me? It's not an easy task for Christians to finish strong. Ray once confided to me that of the many dedicated men who graduated from seminary with him, only two were at that time still in the race - still serving God. The rest had faltered and several had dropped out altogether.

Ray showed me what "going all out" means: his example inspired men my age to do the same.

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We're no longer mainstream

NewsweekWaronChristiansWe live in a time when the Christian Faith is no longer mainstream - when Western culture no longer reflects a biblical world-view and no longer embraces its values and attitudes. None of this, however, should catch us by surprise. It's an era the Bible clearly foretells - an era unique in human history - the culmination of spiritual forces that have been building for centuries. This web-site is dedicated in part to revealing its challenges, its opportunities, and its potential pit-falls - to encouraging believers to step up to the plate and make their lives count for God.

A new wave rolls in ...

crashingwaveby Douglas Shearer

Each generation needs a few men their fathers' age to finish strong - to finish with no regrets -

  • Not looking back wishing that they'd been a little less wild-eyed - a little less consumed - a little less obsessed with God.
  • Not looking back wishing that they'd been more balanced - more dispassionate - more pragmatic.
  • Not looking back wishing that they'd spent more time providing for their old age.
  • Not looking back in anger and resentment - holding on to injustices and offenses

It has been almost thirty five years since the Jesus Movement ran its course. And many of the men and women who led it - who spread the gospel message back then, who baptized new believers in rivers, on ocean beaches, in public fountains, and in pools and ponds, who lived in communes to husband their resources to keep it going, who sacrificed their homes and their careers for its sake, who, desperate to see the poor and dispossessed evangelized, put themselves and their families at risk to raise up store front churches in blighted neighborhoods, who witnessed with their very own eyes the Holy Spirit validating the gospel message with signs and wonders - many of them have settled down into "church as usual." The fire that once burned in them so fiercely is now little more than a few smoking embers. And some, like so many of Ray Stedman's contemporaries during his lifetime, have dropped out of the race altogether. Paul's heart-wrenching cry recorded in 2 Timothy 4:10 echoes through every generation ...

For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world

2 Timothy 4:10

Nevertheless, after so many years, there's a new generation of young men and women surfacing to lead a fresh revival. They yearn to revel in its power and to sense God's "every moment presence." But they're waiting for a few of us from the last great revival to step into the waters first. Will we do it? Or will we refuse to stand to our feet again - remembering the wounds we suffered during the last revival - holding on to the "security blanket" we've pulled around ourselves?

Ray Stedman was one of the few older men to catch the last revival wave - and the example he set for those of us who were young back then was seminal. He was always there for us - always ready with a word of encouragement or sound counsel - always with a word from the Lord to keep us going.

It's our turn to do what Ray did for us. Yours, if you're over 50, as well as mine! More than anything else, I want written on my grave stone what Elaine had written on Ray's: A Faithful Steward.

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