Former editor J. Lee Grady says last week’s shooting in Colorado should remind us that Satan is not a fictional character. Though some Christians still doubt the devil's existence, Grady explains why we can't overlook the most sinister villain. read more
Please don’t ignore the mandate to disciple young people, J. Lee Grady pleads. He says our lack of discipleship of youth has created a generational breakdown. Find out what he thinks the solution is. read more
Bible tells men to treat their wives as equals. But in a machismo culture, this is easier said than done.
I travel to Latin America I usually carry a pair of handcuffs in my suitcase. I
use them as a visual aid when I’m preaching about the machismo attitude that is so prevalent in that region. I remind
everyone in the audience that esposa,
the word for wife in Spanish, is the
same word used for handcuffs.
Why would the word for wife be the same word for a form of bondage? Because
women in many Latin countries suffer unthinkable abuse in the home. Puerto
Rico, where I spoke last week, has one of the highest rates of domestic
violence in Latin America, and many women die there every year at the hands of
their partners. read more
rather invest in a few emerging leaders than preach to crowds of thousands.
when I was traveling in India a pastor made a tempting proposal. “If you come
to our city, we will stage a big evangelistic campaign and invite thousands,”
he said. “You can preach to all of them.” This man assumed I would be
intrigued. After all, I could take photos of the big crowds and use them to
brag later about how many people made decisions for Christ.
didn’t accept the offer. Instead I gave the man a second option. “Let me spend
three days with a small group of pastors,” I said. “Let me encourage them, and
then they can go out and preach at the big meetings. They will do a much better
job than I could.” read more
power is more than wind, fire and supernatural hoopla. Without love it is just
the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Pentecostal”?
A. · · A woman with a beehive hairdo, support hose, Granny
shoes and no makeup? B. · · Someone rolling on the floor while speaking in tongues
uncontrollably? C. · · A slick-haired televangelist in a white suit who begs
for donations? D. · · A sour-faced Christian who looks like he just sucked
all the juice out of a lemon? E.···· A sincere Christian who passionately loves God and
people and believes in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit?
wish we all could answer E., but we Pentecostals have an image problem. I’m not
ashamed of the word itself, but I don’t use it as a label because the bad
stereotypes (A., B., C. and D.) have just about ruined it for the rest of us.
Many people associate Pentecostals with dry legalism, fanaticism, charlatanism
and downright hatefulness. read more
days leading up to the Global Day of Prayer, let’s bombard heaven on behalf of
the United States.
Twelve years ago a South
African businessman, Graham Power, felt God nudge him to organize a prayer
gathering in the city of Cape Town. About 45,000 Christians responded to the
call by jamming into a rugby stadium in March 2001 to intercede for their
That was the beginning of the
Global Day of Prayer, an event that will likely involve millions of Christians
in 220 nations on Pentecost Sunday, May 27. This year organizers are encouraging
people to extend their prayers for 10 days prior to the event, beginning on May
17. They are also urging pastors to fuel the prayer with sermons about the
necessity of the Holy Spirit’s power. read more
Reclaiming the process of
discipleship will require a total overhaul of how we do church.
I get funny looks from some charismatic Christians
when I tell them I believe God is calling us back to radical discipleship.
Those in the over-50 crowd—people who lived through the charismatic movement of
the 1970s—are likely to have a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to the
dreaded “D word.”
That’s because the so-called Discipleship Movement (also
known as the Shepherding Movement) turned a vital biblical principle into a
weapon and abused people with it. Churches that embraced the warped doctrines
of shepherding required believers to get permission from their pastors before they
bought cars, got pregnant or moved to a new city. Immature leaders became
dictators, church members became their loyal minions, and the Holy Spirit’s
fire was snuffed out because of a pervasive spirit of control. read more
The Lord wants to unleash a gushing
river of new wine into the church today, but we must leave some
woman from Orlando, Fla., was in the news last month because she
decided to retire from driving her 1964 Mercury Comet. Rachel Veitch,
who is 93, bought the car new for $3,300 when gasoline cost 29 cents
a gallon. Today the light yellow car, which Veitch calls “Chariot,”
has 567,000 miles on it.
great news for Veitch—who will probably get $44,000 for the antique
car because she took such good care of it. But whoever buys it will
either store it in a fancy garage or display it at an auto show.
There are not too many miles left on this relic of the past. read more
Trayvon Martin was not a
criminal because he was black and wearing a hoodie. And I’m not a racist
because I’m white.
We will have to wait months to find out how jurors
in Florida will rule in the Trayvon Martin case. Did his accused assailant,
George Zimmerman, act in self-defense when he shot the unarmed boy? Or did
Zimmerman kill Martin because he just assumed any young black man walking
through a gated neighborhood wearing a hoodie is a dangerous criminal?
Trayvon’s case should cause all of us to check our
hearts. We’ve all been guilty of making unfair judgments. Many of us stereotype
people unconsciously. read more
Technology has connected us
superficially. But the Holy Spirit can knit us together supernaturally.
Two weeks ago I attended a men’s
retreat in Georgia with some of my closest friends. Chris, Eddie, Rick,
Michael, Ray, Robert, Medad, Quentin and James were in the audience with 120 other
guys. We spent 2 1/2 days together—worshipping, attending teaching
sessions, praying in small groups and eating our meals together. Nobody wanted
to go home. It felt like heaven because we enjoyed being together so much. read more
It’s OK to tone down certain charismatic manifestations to make church
visitors feel welcome.
I love it when the Holy Spirit moves in a church service. But I also
know there’s a fine line between charismatic and charismaniac.
Too often, those of us who love spiritual gifts get carried away—and before too
long things get strange. What is supernatural turns weird, and what is
prophetic becomes pathetic.
This is not a new problem. Two chapters of Paul’s first letter to the
Corinthians are devoted to this dilemma. Even in the first century, people
misused charismatic gifts to get attention. The abuse of speaking in tongues
created pandemonium, and the lack of order invited an apostolic rebuke. read more