Monday, November 28, 2011


I wanted to share something with you that has been grating on me lately. I was talking to a friend the other day and somehow it came up that they didn't like a certain group of people. When I asked the answer was "They're druggies." Does that bother you as much as it does me? When I think about it I realize how often we do this. I do this. Why is it that we are so casual about labeling people based on the choices they've made in their lives, their sins, ways of life? Why do we label people at all? He's a druggie, she's a lesbian, he's a hobo, she's a slut. Why do we base our opinions of people off stuff as shallow as all this? Why can't we push past the surface and get to know them for who they are? Maybe their sins are more obvious, maybe they even flaunt them, but being judgemental is not our duty, and if we are really honest with ourselves we are no better, even if it is more internal. That's another thing, Who are we to say one sin is higher than another? We're all level at the foot of the cross, right? So why do we make such a big deal of someone murdering and just brush off the arrogance in our own hearts? Why is it that we judge those who struggle with addictions when our hearts are full of anger? Do you get my point? It goes back to that verse in Matthew 7:3, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" It's not my place to label others, it's not my place to judge whose sins are worse than my own. And if I'm honest, I struggle with this a lot. I long to love these people, to let everything else drop away until it is just me and them and my beautiful Jesus who died so that we might live. Not just me. Both of us. All of us. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that Jesus would die for me, that I forget He died for the rest of the world too. There is absolutely nothing in the world like the realization that Jesus died for everyone I look at. I had a very special moment when it really hit me. I was standing at the front of my church serving communion, with the cup of grape juice and looking each person in the eye saying "The blood of Christ shed for you" And in that moment I had to fight back the tears as I realized and felt the enormity of that statement. So, and I say this for myself more than anyone, next time you're tempted to pass judgement remember that Jesus got up there on the cross and died for them too because he loves them dearly and longs for them to come running back into his arms. Is my judgement what is turning them away from the love of God?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Last Friday I went to Chicago with two of my favorite people in the world. As we walked through the streets we passed numerous homeless people begging for money. Each and every time, my heart would break for them. How can one's life take such a turn against them that they end up on the streets? It's so typical for us to make judgements against these people. Why are they sitting there begging and not looking for a job? Why should I feel bad, they're probably a druggie, they did it to themselves, right? But really, who are we to judge? I mean sure some of them may have drug addictions. But there is no way to know for sure without talking to them. And they may have exhausted all their options with jobs or not have the ability to work. Do you understand how much utter humility it takes to admit that you can no longer make it on your own and subject yourself to the stares of everyone passing on the street assuming things about you that may or may not be true? And if they had someone in their life who was willing and able to care for them do you think they'd be there? There are so many things that could happen to land someone with out a home. Estranged relatives. Mental/physical disabilities. Bad luck. There may not be a clear reason even, somehow they're life just took a turn for the worse and they lost what they once had. While we were eating dinner in Chicago, I noticed a man in his sleeping bag right outside Subway, just laying on the sidewalk. As I watched him I noticed he was smoking a cigarette. And I could feel myself right away judging him. If he could buy a pack of cigarettes why could he not buy himself some food, or save up for something? But the more I thought about it, the more I sympathized with him. If I was living on the street, spending my days avoiding the stares, and yet wishing that just one person would treat me like a human again. Begging for money but also inside begging for someone to care. With no one to love or be loved by, and finding that for just a little while with that cigarette or that drink I  could forget everything and be happy again, I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing. Who's to say that they don't use that drug as an alternative to the love we reject them everytime we walk by with out a word, or a smile, or just looking them in the eye? Is that really so much to ask?! Jesus loved the unlovable and touched the untouchable. I pray that someday we all learn to do the same. It could just change the world.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


"i hear you say 'my love is over,
its underneath, its inside, its in between
the times you doubt me, when you can't feel
the times that you've questioned 'is this for real?'
the times you've broken, the times that you mend
the times you hate me and the times that you bend
well my love is over, its underneath
its inside, its in between,
these times you're healing
and when your heart breaks
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace
the times you're hurting
the times that you heal
the times you grow hungry and tempted to steal
in times of confusion and chaos and pain
im there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
im there through your heartache
im there in the storm
my love i will keep you by my power alone
i dont care where you've fallen, where you have been
i'll never forsake you
my love never ends, it never ends'"

I was talking to a friend today about life, and I got to thinking about how blessed we are that God is there for us regardless of our situation. The lyrics above are from the song "Times" by Tenth Avenue North and I've found myself clinging to it often. How amazing it is that we have a God who loves me through all of my successes and all of my failures. In a world that is so quick to judge and throw labels out, it's relieving to know that my God, my Father, my One Love, accepts me for who I am, he has made me beautiful and no mistake or wrong decision will ever take me away from his love. I find myself so often holding back, subconsciously knowing that He can't love me even seeing all of my inner most thoughts and desires. The thing is, he does. He loves me more than I could ever ask or imagine. I may not feel Him all the time, but he is always here. And tonight I rest in the security of knowing that regardless of what comes up and what situations I may face tomorrow, my Father is right beside me, loving me and holding my hand through it all.

Father, thank you for loving me unconditionally. I revel in you and long for you more everyday. Come near me and bring me near to you. I love you.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I leave today for a middle school retreat that I have the great honor of being a leader at! And I needed to write out my dreams for the weekend.

I want to love like Jesus did
I want to lead well
I want to be fully open to what God wants to do in and through me
I want to be a fountain of love and joy and everything good
I want a pure mind and heart
I want to connect to my beautiful girls through our mutual love for Christ
I want to inspire and be inspired
I want to be moved by the presence of God
I want to see God at work in the lives of these wonderful students
I want to be filled to overflowing with passion for Christ and his work
I want to be honest and real
I want to help create an environment where everyone feels they can be honest and real
I want to go crazy and have fun in a way that no one feels left out
I want to give my all everyday and push past the fah-tee-gyoo
I want to run more than I thought possible in 2 days
I want to sleep minimal amounts and still be in a good mood
I want to encourage and be encouraged
I want to hang out with Jesus and be reminded over and over how much He has done for me
I want to experience renewal to it's fullest through the immense love and power of Jesus Christ

The best part is that He can make all of this happen! I'm awe-struck again and again by the magnitude and awesomeness of our God! Thank you Father!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Bother?

Paula and I at one of Hunter's cross country meets.
Last year this beautiful Croatian came to live with my family for 5 months as an exchange student. After that she moved to 2 other houses in our neighborhood before returning home in June. He name is Paula. In the year that she was here, we became closer than close. We argued more than I've ever argued with anyone. But we hung out all the time, talked about everything and laughed 90% of the time. We were perfect for eachother. Since she moved back to Croatia, there has been an empty place in my heart, that aches with longing to get back my other half. I didn't know it was  possible to miss someone this much. I often find myself wondering, why? Why would God allow someone to come into my life, only to rip them away again? Why do I even bother getting close to people when they just walk out again? Why let them in when the pain of them leaving is so great? That's all people do anyways. They walk in your life only to leave again. I mean let's be honest. How many people will be a part of your life all the way through? Not many. So then, really why bother? Why risk getting close to someone when it just ends with heart ache? That's how I feel sometimes. More often than I'd like to admit really.

I've had many thoughts come through my head regarding that and I want to share them with you even though it doesn't stop the pain. It helps me to change my perspective. Paula did not come into my life just to leave it, just like Jesus did not come to this world just to die on the cross. Sure that was a HUGE part. But he came to show us how to live! To teach us and love us and enrich our lives. These people that come through our lives are similar. It may be painful when they leave, but the focus should not be on the pain but on the beauty they brought to us while they were here. The things they taught us, the joy they brought us, and the love they showed. A life without love, may be free of heartache, but it is also free of joy. We are people made for relationships. If we had lived just a few centuries ago I would probably never have met Paula. I need to see this as a blessing that I got to meet someone with whom I clicked so well and spent a year working through our differences and quirks and learning to love every imperfection. I learned so much and loved so much during that year and without it I would not be who I am today. I love thinking back on our times together and remembering all our little jokes and memories we shared. We'd stay up late talking about things that both did and didn't matter. She taught me to laugh at the most intense moment in movies, to love unashamedly, to hug far too often and quite spuradically. I still love her dearly and hope with all my might that we can continue our friendship long distance. But even if we can't I am greatful for our time together and the beauty and color she added to my life. I will never forget the memories we made.

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." ~Moulin Rouge

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crazy but Possible

You know those dreams, the really big ones, that you keep to yourself because you know they're impossible? I've got about a million of them. They seem so out of reach we don't even consider them as possibilies. Some of them are just fun to dream about, meeting Justin Bieber, traveling the world and playing music on the streets for money, or inventing some crazy product that does something stupid. But some of these rediculous dreams are legit. What if those huge dreams that seem so impossible to me and you, are dreams God has plans to fulfill? What if we could light our work places and schools with the love of God? What if we could break out of our comfort zone on a daily basis and be kingdom bringers in ways we didn't think possible? What if we could change the lives of our loved ones simply by living like these dreams aren't so out of reach? What if I could stop caring what people would think and love Penn and all its people to Jesus? What if I could stop doubting myself and believe that God has put me here for a reason? What if I could get out of my own little world and become a life line for seriously hurting people? What if I could let go of my worries and insecurities and just get up and change the world?

Is it all so far out there? God did not make a mistake when he put me in my family, in my church, in my school. He wasn't confused when he created me to have my strengths and weaknesses, my flaws and imperfections. He knows what He's doing. I may doubt myself a majority of the time, but God has a plan and a purpose for my life and He's given me what I need to fulfill it. It's true of all of us. Why do we spend so much time saying "I can't" and giving excuses for not being able to go after our calling. Seriously? Maybe I can't. But God can. And He says He will never leave or forsake us. So stop living like it's all about you, maybe it won't be comfortable, maybe you'll be stretched more than you thought possible. But we are not called to live comfortable lives. We are called to get off our butts and change the world. God will give you what you need to accomplish the dreams he has given you. Live like it. Because those dreams, the crazy ones that seem so rediculous that there's no way we could accomplish them, are just the right size for the God who created the universe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Letter to Justin Bieber


I decided recently that I’m going to stop reading celebrity gossip, not that I read a lot of it, but it’s disappointing more often than not. I’d rather like who I like because I like them and not be swayed by their private lives. Although I guess they’re not all that private. I think that would be the worst part about fame, not having any privacy. Anyways, I think to be where you are it would be really easy to feel entitled. You worked hard to get where you are today, no one can deny that. But if we’re honest, no one deserves to be put in a position of fame, leadership, good fortune. Why do you get that huge platform while there are so many hurting and hopeless? You have God-given talent and it’s on you to decide what you do with it.

There are kids all over the world who love you and look up to you. That’s a heck of a lot of responsibility. It’s not rare for me to have days when I look at the expectations people have of me and want nothing more than to quit, to give up and run the other way. It’s so tempting; particularly on the days I don’t want to do all the work involved in fulfilling those expectations. And how do I know that who I am is who I want to be and not just who others want me to be? I have lots of inner-arguments about what I should and shouldn’t do and why. What stops me is this: I have the potential to change the world. I can change lives. I can help people through my gifting and my abilities. And every second I waste walking in a different direction I lose time I could be making a difference.

You are in a position to affect thousands of lives with every tweet, every word, every song. That’s huge! The responsibility can be, and probably should be a little overwhelming. No one can handle that weight on their own. But with the right support system, you could be one of the few young stars that survives their teenage years with your credibility intact. And yeah, you’ll make mistakes, say/do stupid things, everyone does. The character lies in how you respond. They say can change the world. I plan on being one of them. And you are in the prime position to blow everyone away and change lives. So many would give anything to be in your position, but they’re not. And you are. You’ve been given a gift, and there’s a large amount of responsibility that comes with it. Don’t squander it on petty, shallow things. Leave a legacy. Change the world!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


If I could choose one word to describe myself it'd be 'rebel' not in the sense that when i'm given instructions I do just the opposite, but in what the world tells me I should be. I don't like people to tell me who i'm supposed to be or how i'm supposed to act. I don't like to follow the crowd or conform to be like everyone else. I am not one to choose one style and swear by it. I don't like just one type of music or one crowd of ppl. I see the stereotypes, and i live to prove them wrong.I don't want people to be able to look at me and figure me out, but at the same time I don't want to hide behind a mask. I don't want to be the center of attention, but neither do I want to blend in with the crowd. I live somewhere in the middle.
I don't like labels. If there's one thing I can't stand it's the idea of being normal. Maybe it's not so much the 'normal' as it is 'average' or 'mediocre.' I don't want to live that kind of life. I don't want to be just average. I don't want to judge everyone who is different than me. I don't want to be so close-minded that anyone would be foolish to argue with me. I don't want to be so self-righteous and degrading that I turn away people who are looking for answers. I don't want to be that girl.
What do I want? I want to be unique, to have my life mean something, to change lives. I want to dream big and achieve goals that seem impossible. I want to be on fire for God every day of my life, to be a catalyst in my environment. I want to change the world. I want to feed the homeless and clothe the naked, love the unloved and touch the untouchable. I want to question everything and wrestle with the mysteries of life. I want to poke and prod every area of my life, to test the very ground I stand on and see what holds firm and true. I want to be so full of God's love that it overflows into everything i do. I want each day to be filled with awestruck wonder and the God I serve and his creation, and to hunger for truth and justice, and to grow each and every day a little closer and a little more like Jesus.
Too big of dreams? Not at all: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ~Phillipians 4:13

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Post-Camp Trama

Ever had that experience that was just too good to be true? You go on a mission trip and realize God is calling you to be a missionary or work with the homeless. Or you go to camp and meet Jesus and realize your life has been incomplete up until that point and you suddenly have huge dreams for your life and you can't wait to share them with the world. And then you get home... and suddenly you don't know if you imagined the whole thing. You still feel whatever that goodness was inside of you, but it seems to lose its power as the environment around it changes.
It happens to me every time! I get in a mood where I am irritated at everything, and I try so hard to keep that camp-high but it so quickly becomes a post-camp-low. It's like you're at camp and it's so easy to believe that everything is right with the world and then you leave and suddenly there's pain and sin and evil again, and it can be seriously depressing. I was talking to my mom about it earlier and she pointed out that just about every time you're on a mountain top like camp or mission trips there is almost always going to be a valley following. And you know what? Satan knows it too. It's like he sits there waiting for us to falter just a slight bit and then shoves us down the mountain.

So how in the world are we supposed to deal with it? I've been wondering that myself. And the only thing I can come up with is that we don't have to. And I don't mean just let it go and wait for it to calm down. I mean My God conquered death. My God beat Satan. He beat the grave. My Jesus got up there on the cross and he died for every sin I ever commited and ever will commit. So why should I lay on the ground and let Satan trample me? Why should I put up with the lies he tells me? Why should I allow him to beat me down like i'm nothing. I am Megan Stevens, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and I am a part of the Family of GOD! You just try to get me down!

Do you feel the weight of this? I'm not saying it's easy, believe me, it's a challenge. But when the same God that conquered death and the grave is on our side, we have no reason to fear. We have no reason to shy away. If we will lean on Him, who was and is and is to come, He will walk with us through the days when it seems like too much. He will hold us up when our strength is gone, and be with us through every hill, mountain and valley of our lives, and all we have to do is ask! I still struggle with 'post-camp trama' as I like to call it. But all I have to do is remind myself whose team I'm on. There is a God who loves me and sent His only son to die for me, and this may be tough, but My God? He's tougher.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." ~Matthew 7:7

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I am, You are, We are the Kingdom!

This past week I got the most incredible chance to be a counselor at camp with Granger Student Ministries at Spring Hill! And what an amazing time it was. There was a lot of freaking out on my part as we were heading up there and even the first couple of days. What if my campers don't like me? What if I don't get along well with my co-counselor? What if I get in the way of my girls walks with God instead of leading them in the right direction? Those were just a few of the questions that nearly overwhelmed me leading up to camp. Looking back I realize I didn't need to worry as none of them panned out. But it was harder than it should have been for me to trust that God put me there for a reason and He had a plan in all of it.
Once my girls got there on Monday morning everything changed. I wasn't really sure how to lead these girls or get them to trust me, but somehow it worked out. It's amazing to see how God takes your weaknesses and strengths and uses then for His glory. If there was something I had no idea how to do or what to say, He'd either give me the words or bring someone else, typically Brandon Ellsworth my co-counselor, to take the lead on it. Some of my girls knew eachother to begin with, but it was such an awesome experience to see how He knitted us together throughout the week. At the beginning it was a group of girls who were maybe a litttle anxious and unsure but excited to see what would happen through the week. By the end, we were a little family, brought together by the life and death of Jesus Christ, who loved eachother like I wouldn't have believed possible in a weeks time. God really can take our brokeness and use it for His glory. He can take the things we don't believe ourselves capable of and strengthen us so that it's clear, no one but Him could do it. I believe that happened again and again this past week, for me as much as anyone.
My Co-counselor this week was another of the many ways God showed Himself to me this week.
Brandon is one of the coolest people I know. He's an incredible man of God whom I learned to respect very highly as the week went on. Brandon lead worship at GSM for a good part of the last year, so I already knew him from that. But I had no idea how the week would go since we didn't by any means know eachother well. It was such a great experience though. He happens to be a very talented musician which helped since I kinda like music. Seriously though, It was an honor to serve with him and get to know him and I would not have changed it for the world. Where I was unsure of what to do, Brandon took the lead and he did it like a pro. It was a blessing to have him as a co-counselor and to learn from in the places I was unsure.
Our group was incredible too. I had no way of knowing how amazing it would be to see a group of people so different and unique come together over the course of a week. I can only pray that the relationships formed this week will continue to grow and that these beautiful creations of God will learn to love and walk through life as Christ did. They may not know how special they are but I pray they never forget that they are loved. God did huge things in the lives of so many this past week, I ask that you pray that whatever seeds were planted continue to be watered and grow so that they may be a Kingdom Catalyst to all who come across them. God Bless!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Life's Disappointments

It's easy as we go through each day, to allow the little things disappoint us. To be let down by the people we love or look up to, or the things we were counting on to make us happy, really isn't an easy thing to deal with. So many people live their lives searching, from one thing to another, looking for something that will finally satisfy them, that will fill that empty feeling inside of them, whether they acknowledge its existence or not. I, too, often find myself disappointed by little things, although they seem big at the time. It's such a struggle for me not let myself be pulled down by life's day to day disappointments. I've always been emotional, and it can be both a strength and a weakness, but too often I let myself be affected by the little things that don't necessarily matter. It's a good reminder for me, in those moments, to realize that those things should not be holding me up. It is not up to those things, or those people, to keep me satisfied. And I should not put them in a position where I depend on them.

Today, Good Friday, we pause in remembrance of a sacrifice so great it often brings tears to my eyes. God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, sent his only son, one who was Him, who was perfect, to become man and walk with us on Earth. And at only 33, he went willingly to His death on the cross, mocked and beaten like a criminal. He went to that cross for us, for you and me. My Jesus, died on that cross, for my sins. "It was my sins that held him there, until it was accomplished, but this i know with all my heart, His death has paid my ransom" ~How Deep The Father's Love For Us. Those lyrics say it all. How could we be anything but greatful for a love so unconditional that God would come to earth to live and die for me, a sinner? And how could we depend on anything else to hold us up? If we place our hope in anything of this world, we will be disappointed, time and time again. But if we place our hope in Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, who died so that we might live, we will NEVER be let down.

Today we thank you Father, for the sacrifice you made for each and every one of us. We place our hope and trust in your love, so deep that nothing we do, or don't do may pull us away from it. We thank you for the pain and disappointments we face here, that remind us that this is not where we belong. And we thank you for your peace through our pain.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Power of the Mouth

The power to speak
and to sing
the power to laugh
and to cry
the power to lift up
and tear down
the power to love
and spew hate
the power to lead
and trip up
the power to forgive
and ignore
the power to believe
and to doubt

Oh the many powers of the mouth!

As you go through these next couple of days, look for ways to be intentional about bringing people up. It's amazing what a few words of encouragement can do to a person's day, and vice versa. We so often go through life assuming people know how much we love them. But it's incredible how much doubt can creep in when the words are not put out into the open. Don't hold in your words for fear of rejection, open up your heart and let the world know how much love flows through you, with the power of your words :)

Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the words of the wise bring healing~ Proverbs 12:18

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger~ Proverbs 15:1