John Stumbo Video Blog No. 49

August 12, 2017

12:24

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This month, John takes us back to Council 2017 when he shared the message stirring in his spirit as he looked ahead to his second term as U.S. Alliance president. I trust you are challenged and inspired by his call to a greater level of ownership and engagement from The Alliance—one of God’s end-times families raised up to complete the Great Commission.

Transcript

Hey Alliance family—John Stumbo back with you again today.

This officially begins term two in my presidency. August 2017 is the launch of that, and many of us are still kind of reflecting on the significance of what God did among us at Council.

Stories are still being told; encouragement is still being shared of how God was at work among us.

If you haven’t yet caught the special edition of Alliance Life magazine, that’s because you might not be subscribing to Alliance Life. It’s free; please get online and subscribe for yourself. But this special issue takes us back to many of the moments that were shared.

And in this video blog I want to take you back to one of those moments as well, that was particularly significant for me because our much-loved, long-term moderator David Gooden gave me the opportunity to take the microphone one afternoon to give a few words about what was stirring in my spirit as I looked ahead to the possibility of being elected for a second term.

And where my heart went at that moment was a call once again to a greater level of ownership and engagement from the Alliance family into this incredible mission that we’re part of, of being one of God’s end-times families that He’s raised up to complete the Great Commission.

So receive this today as I gave it to the Council delegates, but bring it back to us again now through this video—that I long for us to be fully participating in this great work that God has for us.

David Gooden: We have one candidate, our incumbent, and we’re going to extend to him that opportunity to speak to you at this time and offer an address to our delegates. Dr. Stumbo.

John Stumbo: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Since I have a microphone in my hand many hours over the course of this event, I will keep my remarks brief and personal. I think you know where I am leading and the manner in which I am leading, so I’m not going to try to add to that.

Four years ago when I was at this event, and it was approximately this day, and I knew that it was upon us to have an election for president and that my name was one of those standing, there was a noontime prayer and fasting event somewhere in that facility. And I found my way to it and found my way to a back corner and put my nose in the carpet and thought, Maybe this is the time that God’s going to give me a second round of healing.

I knew in my spirit—forgive me, I could not say anything at the time—but I sensed in my spirit I was to have this role. I would have been delighted if I didn’t. I would have been happy to go back to my little house in Wisconsin and write books, but I sensed God was calling me to this role, and I thought, He healed me once, giving me the ability to swallow, and with that ability to swallow, giving me the ability to gain weight and with the ability to gain weight, the ability to have enough strength to do ministry.

But there were still lingering effects of the disease upon my system that I thought: Maybe today, if He’s calling me to a role this significant, if the Alliance family is entrusting the presidency to a guy as frail as I am—they prayed me back this far, Lord—maybe this will be the moment it’s all the way. And instead of getting a touch, I got a word. Sometimes that is the better plan of God.

The word was this. I’m giving you everything you need to live every day well. I will give you everything you need for every day.

While I still at times have that lingering prayer of, Lord, do you want to get me off of these crazy IV infusions that I receive (a gift of plasma from people who wait in a line that I try not to look at)? If you’ve ever been past a plasma center, you know what I’m talking about. I’m the recipient of all of those donors, and I am grateful for the medical help that I receive, and I continue to receive it, but my point is I have laid my head on my pillow many nights in these last four years and said, Lord . . . you did it again. Wasn’t really sure how I was going to handle today, and not only physically but in other ways, but Lord, you did it again.

So He’s been my sustaining strength. I thank you, Alliance family, that you prayed me back to health in those years of 2008 to 2012 during such a health crisis. I thank you that you’ve continued to pray for me in these years, 2013 to 2017, during this role as president.

But I can happily testify before you today that I am much stronger today physically—and I believe in every other way—than the day that you elected me four years ago. So I’m experiencing the grace of God. To Him be the glory.

I still acknowledge that I’m a weak and frail man. Jonathan Schaeffer, the corporate vice president who is the man in line according to our documents, that if I go down, he is standing here before you as the president. He prays for me more than any of you do, and I don’t think I exaggerate. He follows me around the country and texts me as I preach and says, “I’m with you, pastor. I’m with you, John.”

Just a couple more comments . . . Perhaps one thing that I want to say to summarize how I feel about this role. I’ve already expressed my gratitude for your prayer. I expressed gratitude this morning for getting to be part of a generous family, just the whole spirit of who The Alliance is.

I was in Manila a month ago, and it was my privilege to speak to the CAMACOP—The Christian and Missionary Alliance of [the] Philippines’ version of Council—2,700 people gathered in their auditorium. I was already looking forward to heaven, but after hearing 2,700 Filipinos sing, I’m really looking forward to heaven. That was a joyful assembly.
In none of the messages did I require having screens because I wasn’t using PowerPoint and it didn’t matter to me if I was on the screen or not. The way the auditorium was set up, it was fine without a screen but for one sermon that I had, I really needed the screens.

Bishop Dalino, the president of the CAMACOP church, had asked if I would share my healing testimony, and it’s just more effective if you see the “before” pictures, the “during” pictures, the video of me in a very weakened state, and then the “after” pictures.

So I really was dependent upon the two screens for that moment. I arrived at the auditorium to pray with the prayer team. The Filipino youth team were all the tech guys—black shirts, headsets. You think we get a lot of people on Alliance Council platform? We ain’t got nothing on the Filipinos—200 people a night on some of those services, 100-voice choir, all these recipients of rewards.

That tech team was fabulous. They were keeping people moving, but as I got there that morning for that session, the two jumbotron-kind-of screens . . . (It wasn’t a projection unit shining on the screen) the screens themselves were to be lit up, and they were completely black. I thought, Well, OK, it’s early. We’re just getting going. Be the quiet guest and don’t make a big deal about it.

As the service starts, the worship leader has to do the call and response kind of thing because there’s no words on the screen. Okay, I’m starting to get a little nervous. I call one of the gentlemen over that I’d gotten to know and said, “What’s up?” He said, “There’s no electricity. There’s no power coming to these screens.”

I don’t know how much a jumbotron screen requires. I don’t know anything about the electricity in Manila. I just know those things are black and I need them to come on, and so I bowed my head and I prayed a spiritual warfare prayer. I don’t know if demons live in technology, but if they can live in pigs they might live in technology. So I just prayed a simple prayer and there was a flicker of nonsense digital nothingness, but a little bit of light came on the screen and then went black again.

Don Young was seated next to me. Many of you know Don, College of Prayer, he was present with us for just a few days of that event, and Mr. Spiritual Warfare Guy. I lean over to Don and I say, “Don, I really need that screen to come on. I’m dependent upon that, and it’s been totally black all morning and we’re getting close to my time to preach.” And so Don puts his head down, puts his arms out in this position, and he calls out to God quietly and does whatever rebuking Don does. I don’t know, but what I knew, I was watching the screen the whole time and this colorful splash of light fills the whole screen, and then goes totally dark again, and I said to Don, “Well, you got more than I did, buddy.”

So now I’m up and it’s time to preach, and I’ve begun my message and the screens are totally black. I have about a 10-minute scriptural lesson before I get to my story, but finally I just stop and tell the Filipino assembly, “I really need those screens. Would you pray?” So we stopped for two minutes, no more than that. Everybody prayed throughout the auditorium, and by the time I started my story, those screens were fully lit, fully functioning, and never malfunctioned for the rest of the service.

It’s a fun story to tell, but at this moment it becomes a metaphor for me. You got a president who only gets a flicker. You following me here? I’m teamed with people who get a flash, but when we all come together, the enemy trembles, the Word of God goes forward, the Kingdom advances, and it’s a story we all get to own because if you had some super leader who had it all figured out, you wouldn’t have to own this thing.

If my prayers had been sufficient for that moment, nobody in the auditorium would have known what was going on, but because everyone was needed, everyone got to share in the moment. That became their service. That became their story. That’s my appeal to us today. Thank you for this privilege!

It will be a really bad day tomorrow if I don’t get elected—considering what would take place for that to happen—but I come to the Alliance family happily saying every role within the Body of Christ is essential. And some get a microphone more than others, but nobody gets access to God more than others, and we are a team, and I want us to all share in this together. Thank you.

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