I'd much rather tell you about myself
over a cup of tea at my kitchen table.
That way I could hear about you, too.
Maybe another time.
I'm Rev. Marji Stevens. I'm the director
of Embracing Grace Ministries located
in Upstate New York. I'm a grandmother of seven, and the mother of two grown sons.
When I'm not traveling in ministry, I'm usually at my art table or writing. As long as I'm
creating something--I'm happy.
What is Embracing Grace Ministries?
Embracing Grace Ministry is a non-profit, multi-faceting ministry. Our purpose, and our joy, is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ, at conferences, retreats, church events, and in the community. It has been our privilege to minister in a wide variety of denominations and organizations all over the world.
Mim's Pickety Press - our publishing company, producing children's picture books, art prints, fiction and non-fiction books, and other inspirational products.
Embracing Grace Ministries is also involved with Gospel in the City an outreach into the inner city of Rochester, NY. We help in the purchase of Bibles for the children involved with Kids Basketball Association in downtown Rochester. We also serve in the inner-city schools helping elementary-aged children with reading.
About me . . .
"I am blessed to have two grown sons and seven "perfect" grandkids. I live in a 200-year-old farmhouse which has been in the Stevens' family for five generations.
I became a follower of Jesus Christ in the early 1970s. I knew nothing about the Bible or how to pray. I knew that just like falling in love with someone, your love grows when you talk. So, every morning, I'd go to my $7 garage sale chair and talk to Jesus, and from the pages of Scripture, He talked to me.
People often ask me how I got started in the ministry. Honestly, I answered the telephone one day and was surprised to be invited to sing in a church nearby. One invitation led to the next until I was traveling far and wide in groups of all denominations. For years I was told, "You are the first woman we've ever had in our pulpit."
Since that first engagement, I've traveled to Uganda, Kenya, Zaire, Austria, Germany, England, and Ukraine. I've recorded ten custom albums of my original music, sung on the 100 Huntley Street program in Toronto, and to the Surgeon General of the United States. I also had the opportunity to minister to the head of the communist party in Salzburg, Austria. I've sung at the Uganda National Theater, and the Crystal Cathedral in California. I ministered to the Board of Directors at Regent University and for the National Organization of Women in Leadership in Washington, D.C.
You can do a lot in fifty years. Some of my sweetest memories come from time with kids. At one engagement, I was greeted at the door with, "Marji, your fan club is here." She led me into the sanctuary of their church and there sat a five-year-old boy waiting to meet me. I'll never forget - the best fan club ever.
Whether it's helping kids learn to read or speaking before thousands, God's adventures are always extraordinary.
Sometimes His adventures take a turn and He leads us into a deep valley. I visited that place of dark shadows when the stage collapsed at a speaking engagement and I broke a bone in my back. The shadows thickened when I discovered my back injury also affected my neck, and singing became too painful and I had to stop. The darkest valley of all came at the death of my husband in 2007. His faithfulness is so reliable, His grace so generous, even in the darkest place comes fruit for ministry.
My $7 garage sale chair has long been replaced by a porch swing, and that's where I go every morning to watch the sunrise with my Lord. Creativity flows from the place of His presence.
Believe me, I didn't sail through these dark valleys like some kind of super-saint. I struggled and cried and questioned His plans. But every tear He saved and blessed me with more of Himself.
What others are saying
"When Marji ministers, you can expect her to delight her audiences with humor, exhortation, and rich teaching from the Word of God. She speaks with depth and transparency, about the faithfulness of God through all seasons of life." Michael T.
Flourishing in God - A Message from the Trees
"I love this book and highly recommend it. I enjoyed the journey, the insights into the Bible, and the character of God. I especially enjoyed the personal reflections. The more I read, the more I found myself enjoying the time in a special world that the author created for her readers." Donald B.
"What touched my heart the most is the way the author combined Scripture with personal stories and the message of the trees. Not only that, but her original drawings were especially meaningful to me because I'm a visual learner. This book didn't preach AT you but took you on a journey ... and what a journey! After enjoying the author's rich teaching and humor sprinkled throughout my spiritual roots have gone deeper into his life." Cindy D.
This book is a blessing! Marji weaves humor into the transparent and vulnerable telling of her pathway through grief. Timeless wisdom is illustrated in each story. This was the book I couldn't wait to pick up at the end of the day.
Through a kaleidoscope of life's colors and experiences, Marji Stevens pictures her journey through joys and loss in wonderful word images and her own illustrations. There's laughter and loss, despair and inspiration, written from the porch swing where God tenderly spoke His wisdom and care into her heart. This is a "Gift from the Porch Swing" to any reader, but especially to those affected by a loss. Sweet words, indeed!
My cozy writing place right next to the woodstove!
View from my porch swing.
Our monthly widow's meeting.