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Info for my readers!

This blog post is related to the Book of Stevo but does not really have a place for it as of yet. I would like to make something very clear to everyone that reads my posts. Most of the time when I write on a subject it is based on an idea or feeling that I have had. In no way do I claim it to be official doctrine or even scripturally correct. If I ever go into a topic that I feel is relative to church doctrine I will make a note of it early on in the chapter. My goal is not to miss lead anyone or give any vibes that I am starting a new movement.

 I am just a guy that is inspired by God to write what is on my heart or what the Holy Spirit leads me to write about. I welcome feedback from any of my readers. What I do not welcome is backlashing, condemnation or bashing on ANY religion. If you want to do that take it somewhere else. If you really feel the need to say these things to me please e mail it to me and do not make it public. I am trying to promote unity. Please do not get me wrong. If you feel that there is something I am saying that is out of place feel free to write me about it. Just do not be judgmental or harsh about it. 

If any of you would like to connect with me I have left my social media info at the end of this post. Thank you for taking the time to read any of my posts. I love and respect you all!

 

Godspeed,

Brother Stevo

 

brotherstevo@gmail.com

Twitter / Instagram @brotherstevo

Reverbnation.com/brotherstevo

Youtube.com/bookofstevo

Facebook.com/bokofstevo

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The Holy Spirit

Through the Holy Spirit God can be everywhere at once. When you stop and think about that it can be hard to understand and even a little over whelming. God can be here with me in good old Charlotte, North Carolina, with my friend Leo in Bend, Oregon, watching over my daughter CheyAnna in Hugo, Oklahoma and anywhere else you can think of. The Holy Spirit is a respecter of persons when it comes to us excepting what we are felt lead to do. I also believe that the spirit speaks to every person on this Earth no matter what they have faith in. How else would someone be able to convert to become a follower of Christ without it? We are all God’s children like it or not. We were all created in the image of Him.

Before we were born on this Earth we were living with God and we were all family. Once we are born in this life we were given a blank memory of our spiritual preexistence. Every one of us had gifts and talents that we had and we brought them with us to be able to serve God and others with them. Have you ever heard of free will? Well that is why we cannot remember what it was like being with God. He wants us to be able to live our lives the way we chose to. If we were forced to love and respect God we would do so in systematic way. We would never be able to truly understand the love that God has for us. Also I believe that we would not know what love feels like because we would be so prone to how it felt with no reason to value love.

So I feel that this could be the reason why were are here. To be able to experience life and truly understand the love that God really has for us. So many people live their lives day by day and wonder why they are even here in the first place. This is something everyone on Earth has in common. It does not matter where they live, what kind of job they have or what religion they claim to be a part of. This is just human nature. All of us have a body of flesh and bone. We all have a spirit inside of us. We all need food and water to keep our bodies healthy. We are all connected. There is no escaping this reality.

After thinking about all of that I guess the thought of God through the Holy Spirit being with us makes since. If our bodies are made the same and need the same things in order to survive then why wouldn’t we be connected with the same communication tool to the father? Some call it their conscience and some call it a feeling. No matter what you define it you should listen to it. Sometimes it could be that you are to talk to someone you see having a rough day or that person on the street asking for money. Maybe it is something like what I experienced when God told me to take the Book of Mormon to the ice cream driver on an Easter Sunday. You never know what that person has gone through. Maybe they have been praying for someone to stop and talk to them.

It doesn’t even have to be anything extreme. A simple hello and opening a conversation could change the view of the person’s whole day. Everyone at one time or another has needed to feel that they are loved and that someone was thinking of them. God always loves us and He wants us to be happy in life. That does not mean He always wants everyone to have the best car, the nicest house or so much money that you have no idea how to spend it. God wants us to be happy in the small things of our lives. If we listen to what the spirit tells us we can make better decisions on how we live our lives. When we make the first move He will show us how to continue on the path.

Going back to the Holy Spirit being a respecter of persons. If you feel the Holy Spirit prompting you to do something and you reject it could be a while before you feel it again. The spirit doesn’t want to be around when you reject it. I feel that it makes since because when you feel unwelcomed do you want to stick around? Don’t get me wrong. God will do what He wants to do and could send the spirit to tell you to do something a hundred times over. Please do not take my words as official church doctrine. In my own personal life and hearing the accounts of others I have been told that the spirit has a track record of not showing up for a while once it is rejected. Then again maybe it has to do to the way you are living. No matter what we do know that God is always watching over us and He wants to communicate with us.

It is easier to feel the Holy Spirit when you are living right with God. What I mean by this is reading the scriptures, praying, attending church, and loving people as you would love yourself. When a person is living right with God it seems that the person lives a happier life especially spiritually. The spirit is easier to recognize when we are in a positive state of mind. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you have had this experience without picking up a Bible, attending church or praying I would not question it. Like I said everyone is programed with a communication tool that God can speak to all of us. What I am trying to say is that if you do not feed and water the Holy Spirit, conscience or feeling then it will not grow. So if you do not attend church or if you have not read scriptures in a long time I challenge you to do so.

Doing these things will not hurt you. As a matter of fact, reading scripture could take only a few minutes to do. Attending church never hurt anyone. When my wife and I were married I had two friends that were Wiccan and they came to our church for the wedding. They thought God was going to zap them with a lightning bolt but He didn’t. If you do not know what to read you can do a Google search asking what to read in the Bible and you will have access to a lot of things to read. If you do not have a Bible you can access the Bible with a wide variety of translations to read also doing a Google search to find pages to read the Bible on. You can even use your smart phone to download free Bible apps.

So try this a few times and contact me to let me know how your experience went. If you still need help finding what to read feel free to contact me on social media. I love to interact with people! Also if you act on what the spirit leads you to I would love to hear the outcome. Both the good and the bad.

 

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Holidays

Every year when Easter and Christmas draw near I always look at it like the Brace Yourself meme depicted from the HBO TV series Game of Thrones. If you are not aware of the show I am sure you know the meme. The character that has a sword in the ground and he is knelt down on one knee. Then it says brace yourselves such and such is going to happen. Now I know this sounds crazy coming from a person from the Christian faith. I feel this way for a few reasons. The main reason I am going to focus on in the chapter is this. When someone confesses they are a child of God, Christian, Latter Day Saint, or any other protestant faith their life style determines their death style. Does that make since? The person that has a relationship with Jesus Christ should be living as Christ. This should be a life style and not something we remember on holidays.

I am not trying to degrade the holidays. I love spending time with loved ones just as much as the next person. I also understand that people sometimes need a refresher reminder of why they believe what they do. The holidays can really help people reflect on the love they have for the savior and what He has done for them. I am just trying to stress that we should always live our lives like every day is Easter and Christmas. As Christians we are called to pick up our cross and follow Him daily. We are also called to love people as we love ourselves. This brings me to the reason why I am writing this chapter,

Every year when Easter comes around I think to myself that it is just another day but since it’s a Christian holiday I sometimes ask myself what will God do this year? Most of the time my mindset is on the wrong place when I ask this question. This year my spirit was open and responsive to what it was saying. Maybe it is because I have been trying to live healthier or live by the Words of Wisdom and not drink coffee and tea. Maybe it was because I truly listened at Church on Sunday. Anyway God confirmed to me that my calling to be a ward missionary, social missionary and self-proclaimed evangelist was of Him.

On Easter Sunday there was an ice cream truck that came down the road. The music playing became stronger as it came down our dead in road. After about 5 minutes the music stayed in one location. I thought to myself why is this person working on Easter Sunday. Then the spirit told me I was to take the word to the ice cream driver. I thought to myself this cannot be. I never get a message for the spirit to take any form of scripture to someone. Usually it has to do with helping someone on the road or something like that. So I looked at my wife and said that the Lord is asking me to do something crazy. I told her He wanted me to take a Book of Mormon to the ice cream driver. She looked at me and said ok.

So I got up and grabbed my only copy I had which also has Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants and went outside. I walked up to the truck and waited in line. After the people received their treats I walked up to the truck and started a conversation with the driver. After I received my ice cream and change I took the book and handed it to him. I told him that is was another testament of Jesus Christ. I also told him that the Lord told me to give it to him and I hoped that he would read it. Since this was my first time to ever do something like this I was waiting for the rejection response. What I ended up with was an Easter blessing. He accepted it and said thank you. Then I walked away.

As I was walking away it dawned on me that I did not leave any information on how to contact me if he had any questions. My spirit told me not to worry about it. Then I began to pray for him and his work that he would make enough to support him and his needs. Then I heard the familiar ice cream truck music coming closer and I looked behind me. The driver flagged me to come over to him. So I did. This is the part of the story that shook my spirit and body to the core. He reached out his hand for me to shake. So I did. Then he told me that I was his special angel. He had been wanting someone to talk to him about Jesus. Then he told me that I had given him the best gift anyone had ever given him. The Bible.

Who am I to correct him on what kind of book I gave him? I gave him scripture and at the end of the day the title of the book is just that. He said that he never comes down this street. I told him he should because there are a lot of awesome kids on this street. He said because of you I will make more rounds on this street. I then asked him if next time he came down if I could give him my contact information and he said most defiantly. He finished by repeating that I was his angel and that he was in his sixties and that I gave him the best gift anyone could have given him. I wished him a blessed day and I could not wait to see him again. We said our goodbyes and I walked away.

As I began to walk away I began to feel a spiritual high like I had never felt before. I always thought that the church camp spiritual high was the pinnacle experience of the spirit. The feeling that I had after this blew that feeling out of the water. The spirit was the strongest that I had ever felt it. My body had jolts of energy flowing all over it. I had never felt this overcome like this. I walked in the door and told my wife what had happened. We were both blown away. After I sat down and began to think about everything I remembered something that was brought up in class at church.

Many people want to see the Christ so that they could believe in Him. Our Sunday school teacher said that it is more of an experience to feel the Spirit of the Holy Ghost than being visited by an angel. The reason is because the spirit has a lasting impressing on us more than seeing an angel. I really found that interesting but I really did not know why. Now I know why. God answered this man’s prayers because I listened to what the spirit had asked me to do. The driver told me that if he only made a dime today it did not matter because he had received the greatest gift he had ever received. In all of this God also answered my prayers. Through all of this I know have a testimony that the church is true but most importantly I also have a testimony and confirmation of what God has called me to do. So the next time you feel the spirit tell you to do something I pray that you will respond to it no matter how big or small it is.

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Easter or Something Like That

People get into heated battles about how the Mormon Church does not have anything to do with the traditional views of the Christian denominations. This is one of the dumbest debates I have ever heard of. Both churches believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that His atonement is the only way to have salvation. Does it really matter after this point of view? The LDS church claims to have the fullness of the gospel and its doctrines. For the longest time I have struggled with this claim.

Then yesterday I was talking to my friend about Easter and what she was going to do with her kids to celebrate the holiday. She is not of the Christian faith so I really did not know what her answer was going to be. She said that her mother does things with the kids most of the times. Then she countered my attempt to talk about a Christian topic with a link to a site that breaks down how the church came up with the idea for when the church would celebrate the birth of Christ. I told her she was original to counter my attempt to share my views. We both did a little laughing out loud.

So I found the time to read the link she sent me. I have read this content many times before, but just like any other kind of reading it depends on where you are in life. You can read the same thing a hundred times, but if your mind set has changed that one-hundredth and one time could become your own personal revelation. This is what happened to me when I read this article. The article talks about the Pagan traditions that were later merged into what we now call Christmas and Easter.

While I was reading, a section of the article jumped out at me:

“There was violent conflict on Vatican Hill in the early days of Christianity between the Jesus worshippers and Pagans who quarreled over whose God was the true, and who’s was the imitation. What is interesting to note here is that in the ancient world, wherever you had popular resurrected god myths, Christianity found lots of converts. So, eventually Christianity came to an accommodation with the Pagan Spring festival. Although we see no celebration of Easter in the New Testament, early church fathers celebrated it, and today many churches are offering “sunrise services” at Easter – an obvious pagan solar celebration. The date of Easter is not fixed, but instead is governed by the phases of the moon – how pagan is that?”

After reading this, the spirit hit me hard with this statement. The LDS church claims to have all the truths and the restored gospel. According to this article, the “Jesus Worshipers” were doing their job to testify, along with the other world religions of that time in Rome. So this would mean that the LDS church was not a part of the mixing of the religions theology, which makes the LDS church separate of today’s Christian Church. I don’t know why, but it just clicked with me. The true church lost its priesthood keys and many of its core doctrines when the last disciple of Jesus Christ was killed. People tried to keep the faith going but defiled it by changing many of the doctrines to fit to what they felt was the right way.

As I am sitting here thinking about all of this. I feel that what I have stated above is true. I feel that when the violent conflicts on Vatican Hill happened it was not with the church founders. I say this because I do not see any of the disciples agreeing to merge the traditions of Pagan practices with The Church of Jesus Christ. This would have been an oxymoron move on the part of the apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ. Please do not take this as a prophetic word or a revelation of church doctrine. This is just my personal thought. I feel that churches that claim Jesus Christ as the center of the church should just untie and serve the purpose of their respective churches bylaws and stop fighting against the spirit of God. 

 

 

Article Link

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2010/apr/03/easter-pagan-symbolism

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Church of Faith

Growing up all I knew was that God was real and Jesus was His son. Everything else didn’t matter. Maybe it was because I didn’t know any better. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that child-like faith. Everything was so much easier to understand. It was there that there was no second guessing who God was or how to worship Him. Now that I have chosen to worship at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints it seems like I have turned my back on God and everything I have believed in. This is not the case but try telling this to a few of my strong Christian friends.

Why does it matter what church I go to? I believe in Jesus Christ. My views on God have not changed just because I go to another church. Sure the LDS church may have some crazy thoughts and rules but do you know some of the cool things they do? They walk the walk where most churches only talk the talk. They help their members with things like food and making sure people have what they need to survive. When we moved from Klamath Falls to Charlotte we only had what would fit in our Jeep Grand Cherokee. The church asked if we needed anything and we gave them a small list and they provided everything and then some.

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Life, Love and Stevo

Growing up I always thought I would be that Christian that would do all of the right things. I promised myself I would not have sex until I was married, I would never drink or smoke and if I had gotten someone pregnant I would never leave them. Well to be honest I have broken all but one of those promises. I mean I have smoked one time and that was a cigar on my wedding day when I married Andrea. I mean it was like two puffs and I was done. That is neither here or there. I am about to get deep into my life testimony. Much of it is written to help young people but anyone can gain from this chapter. So I am going to take you down my spiritual journey starting from my high school days.

I was born and raised as a Christian in Yukon, Oklahoma. I was a Christian all of my life. Growing up I was raised by my mom, my Aunt Connie and my grandmother. Growing up I really didn’t know my dad until my junior year in high school. I had a few friends but the friends I had were very close to me. Out of all of them to this day only one is still my best friend and he has a chapter in this book dedicated to his rants. He was there for me through so much in my life. So when I speak of Jason in this chapter you will know who he is.

My senior year my teacher asked the class to write down what they wanted to do after high school. Many most of them wrote the normal answer which was to attend a college of some sort. I only had one dream and that was to be a DJ at the local radio station in Oklahoma City which was KOKF 91FM. Around the same time, Jason invited me to attend youth group on Wednesday nights at Oneighty Youth at what was then Yukon First Assembly of God. My mom and I stopped going to school when I was in elementary due to some stupid power struggles with the elders of the church changing the locks on the door so the pastor could not get in.

You see that church wanted the pastor to only preach what they wanted him to. Pastors should have the right to preach on whatever topic the spirit speaks. So I really didn’t want to go to church but Jason really made an impact in my life during that time. I am sure he doesn’t even know that because he always thanks me for being the spiritual influence in his life.  Sorry for the bunny trail and now back to the subject of Oneighty Youth.

The first service I went to was amazing. I walked into the building where my ministry was going to start but I didn’t know that at the time. There I got to know the associate youth pastor which was a musician and worked concerts on the side. There I learned how to run the sound board and how to be a servant. Because of this youth pastor I was able to work various Christian concerts and connected with local artists and got to know people in the business.

Right before I graduated high school I went to a volunteer staff interview for KOKF 91Fm. Long story short I was picked to be the new temp there. I was stoked. There I did a lot of office work and assisted the radio DJs and eventually learned how to run the board. I will never forget the first time I spoke on air. All I was doing was giving snow closings for local schools. As soon as I hit the on air vocal channel on the board my adrenaline rushed like it never had before. I gave the opening call letters and then gave the school closings. Then I signed off and played more music. As soon as I turned off the vocal channel I fell to my knees because they were shaking so much. The program director said I did a great job and we both laughed.

About a year later I was given a chance of a lifetime. I was given my own radio show. My first night was on my birthday which is October 9th. I remember it because the band Bride came to town and I was able to go see them for free since I worked for the radio station.  That was one of the coolest perks about the job was going to almost any Christian show for free and sometimes even getting back stage access which most of the time meant hanging with the artists. This was not the most important part of being a DJ at a Christian radio station. The best experience I have ever had in ministry was being a DJ overnights because I was able to talk to the people that were dealing with issues. I was able to pray with people and help them to make positive decisions. Sometimes just talking to people makes them feel better about whatever they are going through.

Then my dream started to fall apart. I started to feel that God was going to use me in a whole new way. I had always heard people talk about how a person that became a Christian could remember the time they gave themselves to God and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord.  I got to thinking that I had never really had that experience. My spirit was strong like it knew something was about to change. Well a week later I was let go from the radio station due to some spiritual issues and lack of communication. When the station hired a new program manager they did not tell me things were going to change.

I had two great guys that had their own ministry on my show every Monday night. We would talk about events and they would pray for people in the studio. Well no one told me I could not have them on my show without permission. This was news to me. So somewhere in the mix of shows one of them said something out of place about TBN and some people heard this and reported it. So I was suspended for a week and then was let go from the station. I was told that I was rebelling against God and the radio station through my actions. I was only 21 at the time so all of this really hit me like a ton of bricks.

This is where my testimony starts to go south. I hope and pray that young people will learn from what I have gone through. I went looking for something to fill the void of not being there. I know now that I had taken it lightly and was acting big headed even when I thought otherwise. Jason was living with me at the time and he tried to help me through it but I would not let him. I went looking for women online. I had dated a few then I learned why the Bible says do not be unequally yoked. I started dating someone that was not a Christian thinking I could change her thoughts on God. How could I when I was a mess? Yeah I failed at that because I was doing all the work and no room for God.

At that time I really thought I loved this girl. Her friend told me that she would only stay with me if I had sex with her. I had a battle with myself debating if I should or should not have sex with her. I tried to play the gentlemen and I did not have sex with her the first few times we spent the night.  It worked at first and she seemed stoked that I didn’t force it. I talked to Jason about it a few times and he tried to warn me not to. I did it anyway. Then with her I started drinking. She didn’t drink beer much and she loved Sweet Apple Pucker. It was good when mixed with Mountain Dew which Dew is my favorite drink.

Then a few months later we found out we were having a baby. Oh my God what had I done? I was not married and I was going to be a father. I didn’t know what my mother would think. She was so excited. After our son was born we started having a lot of issues which lead to fights that became so heated that she would start to hit me because she was so upset. We came to a point where I lost my Job and went back home to tell her and we had the fight to end all fights. So I left and told here good bye. I went back to visit my son a few times after that.

I wish I could tell you that this was where I decided come running back to God and live for Him and all that jazz. Nope. I thought dating a Baptist preacher’s kid would solve all my issues. We started out great. We went to her dad’s church a few times and she went to a few churches I was a part of too. Then we found out we were having a baby. We both were shocked. I told my mom and she was once again excited. When she found out it was a girl I had never seen my mother so happy. So we decided to get married. Then a few months before my daughter CheyAnna was born my life basically came to an end.

My mom had been in and out of the hospital for a few years. Every time she had a health issue she attacked it full force. Well I was working at a 7 11 at the time and It was almost time for me to get off. My wife and uncle at the time came to the store and told me I needed to leave right then. So I did and we rushed to the hospital. My mother was on life support and it came to the point where it was no longer doing its job. The time had come to make a decision to keep her on it or let her go.

We called family and close friends to come to the hospital. Once they were all there. We were all in the same room. The doctor spoke to all of us and told us what had been going on. He said it was time to make the decision. My Aunt and dad both knew what my mom wanted to do. So we decided to take her off the life support. I will never forget that moment in that room. It felt like the end of the world. Everything went to black. After the doctor said she was gone and he left I just fell on top of my mother and began to cry like I had never cried before. The room was pitch black and I felt countless hands on my back and I could hear crying all over the room.

Life from that point has been like living in another life. Everything feels and tastes different. It is like you have a new life yet you can remember the memories of your past life. Well after dealing with the loss of my mother a year later we had a still born baby. After dealing with that grief and the loss of both of them I had become a dull and numb person. I didn’t care much about life to the point where we broke off our marriage. We separated and I moved in with a friend. I saw my daughter when I could because her and her mother moved 3 hours away.

I want to say that I mean no disrespect to the ladies that I have spoken of thus far. I have not mentioned their names out of respect. It takes two to tango and I was just as much at fault as they were. Things just did not work out. Now we get to 2006 where I start talking to Andrea.  I met her on an AOL music chat line a few months before my ex-wife and I parted ways.  Then she found me on Myspace once I had moved in with my friend Nick. We talked and a few months later I took a vacation to fly to Portland, Oregon to meet Andrea. Well we got to talking and a month later I moved out there to start a new life. I needed to get away. I needed a chance to restart my life.

 Since I moved to Oregon I have learned a lot about people, music and myself. I have become a people person and very down to earth. I have broken my shyness and have way more self-esteem.  Andrea and I have been together since 2006 and we have been married since 2009. We have been though a lot of trials and tribulations but we have overcome them all. Since 2011 we have been members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The experience of becoming a convert will be documented in various chapters to come. Thanks you for taking the time to read my spiritual journey thus far. I hope that you will learn things from what I have done. Never take God for granted if you believe in Him.

Having sex with someone is not a good way to keep them in your life. If that is the reason then you need to find more reasons or another person to date. Drinking is also something you should not do a lot of. If you are going to drink please be alert about how many you have. I have been drunk one time and I cannot understand how people can get drunk and then feel that they can do anything let alone drive a car. Be aware of what the spirit tells you. If it does not feel right then chances are it is not.