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jenniferleclaire1

Putting Spiritual Discernment Back Into Spiritual Warfare

I was raised in spiritual warfare. By that I mean, soon after I got saved I plugged into an apostolic church that vowed to run to the battle line to wrestle spirits of Jezebel, witchcraft, religion—and whatever else was opposing the purposes of God.

My church home was akin to a spiritual war zone. We were always on red alert through prophetic warnings, dreams and visions about the next attack. Indeed, spiritual warfare was a consistent thread in most of the praise, worship, equipping classes, Sunday morning sermons and leadership lessons.

You might call it “extreme apostolic.” We hunted down the demon(s) behind every doorknob like a child with a sweet tooth hunts for chocolate Easter eggs. Looking back, it seemed at times like a contest to determine who could present the most detailed dream or vision about the enemy’s impending plan. Once the enemy was spotted, a shouting match with the principality or power ensued that left you with a sore throat—and no respite from the warfare.

I was in a spiritual warfare ditch, where the enemy and his plans were ultimately exalted over God and His plans. Don’t get me wrong. I believe wholeheartedly in spiritual warfare. But we can get into a ditch with any principle if we take it to the extreme. So we have to ask ourselves: What causes us to take biblical principles to the extreme? read more

Whitney Houston and the Silent Shame of Addiction

The pop diva’s death should remind us of an uncomfortable reality: People in church take drugs.

Anyone who has listened to Whitney Houston’s rendition of “I Love the Lord”—or who saw her perform with CeCe Winans and Shirley Caesar at the 1996 Grammy Awards—knows she had an incomparable voice best suited for gospel music. But Whitney chose a broader path: When the doors opened for her to make a pop album in the 1980s, it became the all-time best-selling debut album by a female artist. She became America’s diva.

But all her worldly success didn’t help her overcome her personal demons. Her stormy marriage was marred by domestic violence. She admitted in the 1990s that she took cocaine every day. She tried rehab three times over the course of eight years. Her voice was so damaged by her drug habit that people walked out of her comeback concert in London in 2010. She became a pathetic shell of her former self. read more

jenniferleclaire1

Putting Spiritual Discernment Back Into Spiritual Warfare

I was raised in spiritual warfare. By that I mean, soon after I got saved I plugged into an apostolic church that vowed to run to the battle line to wrestle spirits of Jezebel, witchcraft, religion—and whatever else was opposing the purposes of God.

My church home was akin to a spiritual war zone. We were always on red alert through prophetic warnings, dreams and visions about the next attack. Indeed, spiritual warfare was a consistent thread in most of the praise, worship, equipping classes, Sunday morning sermons and leadership lessons.

You might call it “extreme apostolic.” We hunted down the demon(s) behind every doorknob like a child with a sweet tooth hunts for chocolate Easter eggs. Looking back, it seemed at times like a contest to determine who could present the most detailed dream or vision about the enemy’s impending plan. Once the enemy was spotted, a shouting match with the principality or power ensued that left you with a sore throat—and no respite from the warfare.

I was in a spiritual warfare ditch, where the enemy and his plans were ultimately exalted over God and His plans. Don’t get me wrong. I believe wholeheartedly in spiritual warfare. But we can get into a ditch with any principle if we take it to the extreme. So we have to ask ourselves: What causes us to take biblical principles to the extreme? read more

The Perfect Dinner

Years ago, when my husband, Terry, and I were dating, I set about to fix what I called the “perfect dinner” for Valentine’s Day. On the menu were Terry’s favorites: baked pasta with marinara sauce smothered in cheese, salad and buttery garlic bread. How difficult was that? In a word, highly!

You see I was a woman with an unsavory “kitchen past” and a long list of disasters to prove it. My most recent one was when my popovers (containing too much baking soda) exploded like hand grenades in the oven!

“Well, never mind,” I told myself, as I braved the kitchen to fix the perfect dinner. Terry didn’t need to know about my hidden disasters, just tonight’s grand performance of undaunted love revealed perfectly on a red linen tablecloth. read more

God’s Bouquet of Love

“Call in! Your chance to throw a brick or a bouquet!”

The radio host was inviting his coast-to-coast listeners to air a grievance or grudge against someone—their chance to get even. Or they could call in and compliment someone. The choice was theirs!

Most were angry callers with a grudge and a beef to air. The disturbing thing was that they were taking fiendish delight in putting people down and flattening them before the public. The radio airwaves were thick with tension and hate.

Then came the call that changed things. A sweet lady was calling in to tell her teenage niece how much she loved her. “I want to throw her a bouquet tonight,” she said, “to express my love for her.” read more

jenniferleclaire1

Don’t Give Up: God Wants to Encounter You in a New Way

Do you remember when the Lord spoke to the apostle Paul in the night by a vision? He said: “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10).

That’s the Scripture that came to my mind last Friday after I came home from the spa. Yes, the spa. See, I’m not too proud to admit that carrying the weight and fighting the spiritual warfare that goes along with planting a church, writing a new book about the Jezebel spirit, producing worship songs, commenting in a weekly national radio broadcast, working in media ministry at Charisma, raising a teenager as a single mother—I’ll stop there—I’m not too proud to admit that sometimes the warfare against my mind and body is so intense that it borders on overwhelming.

When that happens, I’ve learned that I need to unplug and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to me. And that’s what I did last Friday afternoon. I never imagined that God had someone in the spa ready and waiting to speak a word in due season that would remind me of just how great our God is and how much He really cares. But that’s just what happened. Call it a divine appointment. God had stationed a powerful prayer warrior (with a strong Jamaican accent) in that spa to minister to me by the power of the Holy Spirit. read more

bishop-eddie-long

Who’s to Blame for the Eddie Long Soap Opera?

{jcomments on}Why the yearlong circus surrounding Eddie Long involves more than just broken leadership

I don’t know Eddie Long. I’ve never met the guy, have no idea where his heart is and am in no place to judge where he stands before God. But considering the soap opera surrounding him over the past year—from a sex scandal to a burglary case to multiple lawsuits to his church’s school closing to divorce to being crowned “king”—it’s safe to say this probably wasn’t the guy’s favorite year. It’s also obvious, based upon the state and fruit of his ministry, that after walking through a season of true healing (which I pray he’ll do), he needs to reconsider the people surrounding him—those in his “inner circle.”

Part of Eddie Long’s true healing, if it comes, will involve ‘fessing up to whatever mistakes he needs to own. But an equal part will be recognizing that he, for whatever reason, succumbed to one of the American church’s most destructive paradigms: the leadership bubble. I’m referring to the incredible man-made force that insulates thousands of pastors, bishops, apostles, prophets and ministry leaders (particularly in the charismatic movement that I cover) and makes them unapproachable superbeings who sweep in from the heavenlies to deliver divine messages on Sunday mornings, and then are swept away by the winds of their assistants, never to be bothered by the commoners. read more

Phoney Rabbis, Lost Discernment and the Eddie Long Disaster

Why did people applaud Bishop Long’s bizarre “coronation” in Atlanta?

Question of the week: What should you do when a megachurch pastor is accused of serious financial and/or sexual misconduct?

A.     Ask the pastor to step down so he or she can receive ministry, and then conduct a thorough investigation.

B.     Flatly deny all allegations and wait until the storm blows over.

C.     Use church funds to pay off the people who made the sex abuse accusations.

D.     Ask a guest preacher to call the pastor to the stage, wrap him in a 312-year-old Torah scroll and ask an “expert” in Old Testament language to declare him a “king” so he can be exonerated of all wrongdoing. read more

Revival or Disaster Headed for US West Coast?

One of the greatest revivals of all time began at Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906. The wretched former stable burned so brightly with the glory of God that for a time it was called “the second most famous address in the world.” God can do it again, and will, if we want it enough.

Every revival in history seems to be the result of a few people becoming so hungry for God that they wanted Him more than oxygen. Those who have such hunger will not be denied. It’s time to seek a revival that becomes the most famous address in the world. It’s time to seek a move of God that won’t quit moving.

I’ve seen in visions and dreams the destruction that is destined, especially on our West Coast. This has caused some to say that I have a hatred for our West Coast, which is not true, but rather the opposite. I really can’t help what I dream, and though a psycho analyst might say it is the result of deep feelings, I know these are prophetic dreams. They never leave me pleased, but rather I’m grieved enough to take all of the heat for sharing them with the hope that people will listen, repent, and they will not have to come true. read more

jenniferleclaire1

How to Get Off the Emotional Roller Coaster

We are emotional beings. God gave us emotions—and God Himself has emotions. Our emotions can be a great motivator at times and a great enemy at other times.

Think about it for a minute. Sometimes we feel joyful; sometimes we grieve. Sometimes we feel bold; sometimes intimidated. Sometimes we feel triumphant; sometimes completely and utterly physically and emotionally exhausted.

Is it possible that we could avoid the extreme highs and lows of the emotional roller coaster if we maintained God’s perspective? What if we could wait on the Lord, mount up with wings as eagles and take a prophetic perspective of our lives—then rejoice in the Lord for the victory? read more

Please Stop the Holy Ghost Smackdown

Do you want the real power of the Holy Spirit? Then don’t pretend by pushing people to the floor when you pray.

I love it when the Holy Spirit shows up in church gatherings. Whenever sinners are converted, backsliders repent, bodies are healed or self-centered believers are broken by God, we see evidence of the Spirit’s work. But I don’t appreciate it when people fabricate spiritual manifestations to prove God is using them.

A few years ago a popular charismatic preacher spoke at a meeting I attended at a church in Orlando, Fla. After his message he asked all ordained ministers to run to the platform so he could lay hands on them. Immediately this man’s team of beefy bodyguards began grabbing people, dragging them onto the stage and holding them in place until the evangelist could pray for everyone. read more

francisfrangipane1

Surrender of the Vision Keeper

If you find yourself more drawn toward prayer than promotion, more toward humility than hype, you are being prepared by the Lord for the glory of God. What He is working in you is typical of what God is establishing in thousands of other believers.

However, before the Father ultimately reveals Christ as Lord over the earth, He will first reveal Him as Lord over the church. And while we should rejoice, we must also take heed. For until we are standing face to face in glory with Jesus Himself, we are going to be in transition. To each of us, Christ's call remains, "Come, follow Me!" (Luke 18:22). If we will walk with Him in obedience, He will take us into the fullness of His presence.

Still, transitions can be frightening. The uncertainty of those passages between spiritual plateaus can hold us hostage to yesterday's blessings. Let us recall with godly fear that the bronze serpent, which brought healing to Israel in the wilderness, by Hezekiah's day had become an idol that had to be torn down.

Our hearts must bow to God alone, for even spiritual gifts, when isolated from Christ the Giver, can become idolatrous. Therefore to successfully navigate this season of change, the Lord will require of us a fresh surrender to His Lordship. He will demand that our preconceived ideas and expectations be submitted to Him. For if we are continually telling the Holy Spirit where we expect to go, we neutralize our capacity to hear where He wants to take us. read more

harry-jackson

Rewriting History: The Victor’s Privilege

The last few years I have been repeatedly disappointed by the bickering and pettiness displayed by our legislators, political pundits and candidates for office. I have longed for representatives who are informed and articulate, who habitually seek the best laws and results for the land. Unfortunately, the history I have reviewed recently suggests that we may be more like our forefathers than we would like to believe.

Those who long nostalgically for more civil times should not read some of the pamphlets distributed during the election of 1800 when Jefferson defeated Adams! Neither should they watch the movie Conspiracy, which discusses the way Washingtonians accused of working with John Wilkes Booth were unfairly stripped of their rights and executed. Although the political process was fraught with danger and contention, there were also many leaders who paid a real price for their convictions.

For example, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has loomed larger than life in the hearts and minds of Americans since his assassination in 1968. The massive monument which now stands on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a physical manifestation of the spiritual giant he has been to so many of us over the past two generations. Today’s leaders can only hope to capture a fraction of the respect from his followers and fear from his opponents that Dr. King commanded during his lifetime. Yet this was never the life that he sought for himself. Indeed, if there is one lesson we can learn from this man today, it is that the best leaders are often reluctant to bear the burden of leadership, because they understand the cost is so high. read more

Getting Angelic Assistance

In Acts 27, the apostle Paul was a prisoner on a ship with 276 passengers onboard. Launching the voyage in the winter, the ship headed into a violent sea storm, called Euroclydon. The ship tossed like a leaf in the wind and was in danger of splitting into pieces. No stars or light from the moon was seen for many days, and because of the dangerous rocks and quicksand, it appeared that Paul and the passengers would drown in the murky waters.

Paul had been on an extended fast and was praying for God’s intervention. God released a heavenly messenger to bring Paul this encouraging Word: read more

rick-santorum-faith

I’m Endorsing Rick Santorum for President in the Florida Primary

Four years ago I was one of the first to endorse Mike Huckabee for president. He was a former governor of Arkansas who I felt had great leadership—and he not only shares but embodies our Christian values. But this year I took a wait and see attitude until just a few days before the Florida primary to be held Jan. 31.

I was interviewed on PBS this week for a show that airs this weekend. Kim Lawton, the respected correspondent who has interviewed me before and always reported fairly on the evangelical community, wanted to know whom I’m endorsing. I told her I’m endorsing Sen. Rick Santorum. read more

Anybody Else Out There Going Through a Raging, Fiery Trial?

You were walking by faith and not by sight down the narrow path that leads to life. One day at a time, you were pressing on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling you upward. You had the peace of God that passes all understanding.

Suddenly, the narrow road constricted. The eyes of your faith waxed dim. One day at a time seemed like too much and the finish line too far off in the darkened distance. The peace turned to anxiety and you didn’t understand how to get past where you are to where you are going—or even how to get there.

What in the world is happening? It’s a trial—and not just any brand of trial. A raging fiery tribulation. A top to bottom faith examination. A fruit inspection. You are on audition for God on the way to the next level. The good news is you don’t have to waste your pain. You can rejoice—and take a lesson from a High Priest who understands. read more

The Desperate Cry of Africa’s Women

It is time for the church in Africa—and throughout the world—to address abuse and injustice against women and girls.

After spending last week in the city of Masindi, Uganda, I traveled to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, to address a women’s conference. After my first session a woman named Florence grabbed me and began to tell her painful story.

She had given birth to five girls during her marriage. But when her girls were small, her husband decided to leave Florence because she had not produced a son. He blamed her (I guess he didn’t know a man’s sperm determines the gender of a child) and he said she had shamed him by having only girls. He sold the family house, evicted his wife and daughters and gave them no money for food or school fees. Then he married again and started a new family. He got two boys and another daughter out of the deal. read more

Robert-Ricciardelli

2012: 25 Kingdom Initiatives

As we move along into the new year, I wanted to share 25 key initiatives that I feel are significant for every believer. I am hopeful that these will confirm some things the Lord has already been showing you as well as encourage you to pray into these initiatives for your own lives, and for the body of Christ.

I pray that each of us would ask the Father to reveal to us our part in the body and that we would seek Him for guidance for His will to be done through us. May the Lord kingdomize your life in amazing ways in 2012 to further expand His kingdom and His glory upon the earth.

1. Give to Caesar (government) what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is His, which are our very lives. Jesus was consumed with His Father’s Kingdom being brought to the earth. We must focus on Christ and His kingdom rather than being overly concerned with political processes and government foolishness. We pray for governmental change, but we must look to God and not government to provide for us.

2. God is raising up new leaders who will stand for righteousness in the realms of government. This generation of Daniels and Josephs will continue to take their place in leading nations with Father’s influence, presence and wisdom in governmental offices. read more

Protected!

I was going to a birthday party. Like any great Pappy, I stopped on the way to the party to get my grandson, Elijah, a present for his first birthday. He was at the age where he mimicked sounds. If you asked him, “What does a doggie say?” His reply was “Arf.”  How did he get to be so cute?

As I walked into the little toy area of a drug store, I spotted the perfect toy. A drug store doesn’t have a really big toy section I found out. But here it was: a cute, fuzzy, battery-operated puppy. A long cord was attached to the toy, with a small box on the other end. It had two buttons on it, to make the doggie bark and walk. Now this was a cool toy! It was well worth the $5.99 price tag. read more

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