September 10, 2000: Kermit Bridges: Spiritual renewal on campus
August 27, 2000: Phil Vischer: The Big Idea behind VeggieTales
August 20, 2000: Chonda Pierce: A time to laugh
August 13, 2000: Thomas E. Trask, John Bueno: The launching of Global University
July 30, 2000: G.L. Johnson: Keeping passion for Christ alive
July 23, 2000: Hal Donaldson: More than fame and money
July 16, 2000: David Moore: America in a sea of change
July 9, 2000: Jim Seymour: Real reconciliation
June 18, 2000: Randy Phillips: Plugging into the local church
June 11, 2000: H. Maurice Lednicky: Pentecost Sunday
May 28, 2000: Tim LaHaye: Prophecy-based fiction
May 14, 2000: Natalie Grant: The best testimony
April 30, 2000: Alvin Worthley: Ministry to the 'fourth world'
April 23, 2000: Robert Spence: The meaning of Easter
April 16, 2000: Stephen Pfann: The Dead Sea Scrolls
April 9, 2000: Eddie Rentz: Teens, TV, music and parenting
March 26, 2000: Lillie Knauls: Single and satisfied
March 19, 2000: Terry Lindvall: Christ and culture
March 12, 2000: David Yonggi Cho and Thomas E. Trask: World Assemblies of God Congress and 2000 Celebration
Adopting Gods agenda
Randy Stonehill is a Christian recording artist. His latest release is an album of childrens songs. He has been a Grammy Award nominee and played at the Greenbelt Festival in England for more than 30,000. He recently spoke with James Linzey, D.D., for the Pentecostal Evangel.
Evangel: When and how did you meet Jesus?
Stonehill: One of my musician friends invited me to give my life to Christ. I was extremely nervous, because I knew it meant relinquishing control of my life to a mysterious force. My response was, "I dont really want to pray."
Then he said, "So, youre not ready? Anything God removes from your life, He does so He can replace it with the gift of himself."
Something about that convicted me. I was away from home for the first time. So, I decided, if I was going to be a man, then I needed to face this issue like a man. And, if God was real, I decided Id better find out. So I said, "OK, Ill pray."
I prayed, "God, I dont even know if Youre real, but I believe Youre real enough to be talking to You. I dont use words like sin, but I confess I am a sinner and I want You to come into my life. Im Yours."
I had a lightning-bolt experience. God honored the openness of my heart. I came out of the roller-coaster ride of the 60s chasing girls, listening to rock music and taking drugs. As I look back, it seems God was saying, "I am a richer, more powerful experience than anything you know."
From there, I started working on this Father/son relationship. And I began writing songs about this incredible spiritual revolution that had taken place in my life.
Evangel: Comment on spiritual gifts and their relevance to a Christians life.
Stonehill: Ive been a Christian for almost 30 years. On occasions when I pray, I speak in tongues and feel the intense presence of God. I know my spirit is circumventing regular channels of communication and going right to Gods throne. Its a wonderful thing.
The Spirit is active today. My caution comes when a Christian allows the gifts of the Spirit to take precedence over hearing Gods voice and communing with Him.
Our human nature allows pride, judgment and confusion to slip into a healthy move of the Holy Spirit. But, its not likely to happen if we keep our sights on our relationship with Jesus. This relationship keeps other manifestations in perspective.
Evangel: Your constant travels must be a challenge to your devotional life.
Stonehill: I begin each day by praying, "I abandon my agenda for Your agenda."
If I cant be in church because Im 37,000 feet in the air, I read my Bible and Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest. I talk to God in airports, hotel rooms and backstage. Taking these opportunities helps me let go of my grasp on my dreams, anxieties and temptations.
Evangel: Give one of the highlights of your ministry.
Stonehill: Something really precious happened when I ministered in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in a slum area by a river. I was visiting a Compassion International school. I stood on the stairs inside a two-story schoolhouse. Children stood above me on the second floor looking over the railing, and children stood below me on the stairs and on the first floor. I taught them to sing "Shut De Door."
We were singing together and Gods presence was there. I thought, If I die now, I can say Ive had a truly amazing career if just because of this single experience. It was phenomenal.
Evangel: Anything else?
Stonehill: Real freedom, joy and peace can only be found in communion with God. If communion with Him is the thrust of your life, you will experience freedom throughout your life.
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