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We Don't Need Politics As Usual, But Social Transformation

It's the political season in what many are saying is the most important presidential election of our lifetime, so I turned to my good friend, Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., to be the guest editor for the January/February issue of Ministry Today. You can read the digital issues of the magazine by clicking on the cover images below.

Bishop Jackson has appeared on the CBS Evening News, Fox News' Special Report, The O'Reilly Factor and The Tavis Smiley Show. Bishop Jackson's articles have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

And why not? He's Harvard educated and very articulate—something the mainstream media respects. But at the same time Bishop Jackson is a great spokesman from a Christian perspective—he understands the believer's mandate to bring God's kingdom to earth. Bishop Jackson has a successful track record of growing churches and discipling believers. He hasn't strayed into liberal theology, and his integrity is above reproach.

Bishop Jackson also defies stereotypes. An African-American "bishop," he embodies the best—not the worst—of what that usually implies. He has solid conservative values when many African-American preachers just flow with liberal Democrats. But while conservative Republicans trust him and work closely with him, he doesn't join their ranks. He's a conservative Democrat who speaks boldly in the corridors of power about right and wrong, good and evil, and trust and betrayal.

On a personal basis, I have gotten to know and trust him over the years—first at networking meetings of leaders where I became impressed with his verbal contributions. I noticed that like the old E.F. Hutton commercials, when Bishop Jackson spoke, others listened. read more

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This Is the Year of the Youth

Throughout biblical history you will see that God used young people, even children, especially when adults became spiritually redundant and the only progress was to recreate history, or "bring back those good old days." Looking back has its rewards but unfortunately creates feelings of nostalgia and morbidity.

You have to be dissatisfied with your present conditions, surroundings and supply of joy, peace, happiness, etc. before you will really look forward. So inevitably, God will allow things to run their course and people will become dissatisfied. Suddenly what was once exciting, fresh and tantalizing is now boring and repetitious. You are dull and the self-environment is uninteresting, dim and blunt. You can either sit and complain for as long as you can, or you can change it.

Make war with repetition, be at odds with dullness, spit out lukewarmness and start a fight with blah, blah, blah. You weren't born to be satisfied with "just enough" to keep you going. Once you've tasted of the better that is to come you never want to go back. Imagine driving a car forward, while looking in the mirror, hoping that what is behind you will assist your progress. read more

Jesus' Desire for Us

John 17 records Jesus’ last prayer before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He cried to God before His crucifixion. We don’t have to ask what Jesus was feeling before He was crushed for us. His desire is laid out clearly in John. He opens up His heart and lets us listen in on the most intimate moments of His life on earth.

John 17:24-26 says: “Father I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

“O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” read more

“I AM AMERICA” SINGER KRISTA BRANCH TO PERFORM AT LIBERTY FORUM FEB. 25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mark West, President

423-240-8288

mark-west@comcast.net

www.chattanoogateaparty.com

“I AM AMERICA” SINGER KRISTA BRANCH TO PERFORM AT LIBERTY FORUM FEB. 25

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 21) – Singer Krista Branch, who gained notoriety when her underground Tea Party hit, “I Am America,” went viral on YouTube, will perform at the Chattanooga Tea Party’s Liberty Forum event Saturday, February 25, at Abba’s House in Hixson. The event will run from 1 to 4 p.m. with Krista performing a “mini-concert” prior to the start as well as singing during the event.

Krista has sung at tea party rallies and concerts around the nation and appeared on “Fox & Friends,” “The O'Reilly Factor” and other programs. Her song, "I Am America," was the official song of the Herman Cain campaign.

Krista developed her love for music at a young age, singing at a small church in east Texas. Krista now lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is working on an upcoming album. She takes pride in being a devoted wife, mother, patriot and woman of deep faith.

In addition to Krista, the event will feature GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and local, state and federal candidates and officials, who will address their vision for each of the different levels of government. The CTP will also offer refreshments to celebrate the tea party movement’s 3rd Anniversary.

Although there will be no cost to attend the event, donations will be welcomed to help defray costs.

The CTP also asks attendees to bring food donations, which will be collected for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

The Chattanooga Tea Party is a non-partisan grassroots organization seeking to educate and inform its members and the public at large of the fundamental issues and struggles our country is facing. We are committed to energizing voters to become engaged in the process of solving the nation’s problems.

  read more


SANTORUM HEADLINES TEA PARTY’S THIRD ANNIVERSARY LIBERTY FORUM FEB. 25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mark West, President

mark@chattanoogateaparty.com

www.chattanoogateaparty.com

SANTORUM HEADLINES TEA PARTY’S THIRD ANNIVERSARY LIBERTY FORUM FEB. 25

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 16) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will headline the Chattanooga Tea Party’s Liberty Forum on Saturday, February 25. The forum, which celebrates the tea party movement’s third anniversary, will offer citizens a chance to listen to and question candidates and leaders in national, state and local government offices.

Santorum was one of several invited presidential candidates and first to accept.

The event will run from 1p.m. to 4p.m. and will be hosted at Abba’s House, at 5208 Hixson Pike in Hixson, TN.

“We already have more than 20 confirmed officials and candidates at every level of government. Senator Santorum’s decision is just icing on our anniversary cake,” said Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West.

Santorum currently leads in several national polls of GOP candidates. The former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania is well known for his commitment to traditional conservative and family values, and he helped author and pass key reforms, such as the landmark Welfare Reform Act.

In addition to Santorum, confirmed attendees include US Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and 3rd District challengers, Weston Wamp and Jean Howard Hill; State Senator Bo Watson, State Representatives Vince Dean and Richard Floyd, State Rep. candidate Mike Carter; County Mayor Jim Coppinger and County Commissioners Larry Henry, Tim Boyd, Joe Graham and Mitch McClure, challenger Marty Haynes; Sheriff Jim Hammond, County Trustee Bill Hullander; City Council members Carol Berz, Pam Ladd, Andrae McGary, Peter Murphy and Manny Rico; School Board members Mike Evatt, David Testerman and Rhonda Thurman; and U.S. Senatorial candidate Zack Poscevich.

Select speakers will address their vision for each of the different levels of government and there will be an opportunity for voters to interact with candidates and elected officials. The CTP will also offer refreshments to celebrate the tea party movement’s 3rd Anniversary.

“We launched our local group with a tax-day tea party event April 15, 2009,” West said. “Our event was one of 900 tea parties that day, a dramatic increase from the 50 tea parties on the first nationwide tea party event held six weeks earlier on February 27, 2009. Most of us who first met in early 2009 to prepare for that rally are still involved and contributing to our citizen activism. We’ve become close friends. And our focus has never wavered from demanding that federal, state and local governments adhere to their constitutional foundations, follow fiscal conservatism, and support free markets. We are pleased to be joining with ElectionDayTeaParty.com and dozens of other Tea Party groups around the nation in celebrating our movement’s anniversary.”

Although there will be no cost to attend the event, donations will be welcomed to help defray costs.

The Chattanooga Tea Party is a non-partisan grassroots organization seeking to educate and inform its members and the public at large of the fundamental issues and struggles our country is facing. We are committed to energizing voters to become engaged in the process of solving the nation’s problems.


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Want to Make a Difference? Support Rick Santorum

The National Religious Broadcasters convention ended this week in Nashville, Tenn. For me it was a productive and busy time connecting with authors, talking business and making new contacts. The buzz on the floor this year was The Harbinger, which has been on the New York Times best-seller list for seven straight weeks. Author Jonathan Cahn was there to do media interviews and sign books.

But the other buzz was about the presidential election. Everywhere I turned people were talking about it. Since NRB tends to be conservative, it’s not a surprise that most of the attendees feel President Obama is taking the nation in the wrong direction. A lot of people asked me whom I was backing. read more

jenniferleclaire1

What Is the Holy Ghost Trying to Tell You?

Although the Holy Spirit speaks expressly, we see through a glass darkly. Sure, it’s easy enough to understand the words of that still, small voice in your spirit. But impressions, dreams and visions aren’t always as clear as we’d like them to be—and reasoning blocks discernment.

I remember a time when a friend of mine was planning a trip to Los Angeles. She told me she was nervous about going, but I reasoned that it was a natural case of “the nerves” because she had an important meeting there. The week before she left, I started to get impressions that something bad was going to happen to her in Los Angeles. But it was like seeing through a glass darkly.

At first, I thought it was just fear. I was going through a major trial at the time and had so much coming at me from so many different directions that sorting through it all was more than a little challenging. Nevertheless, I pled the blood of Jesus and claimed the promises in Psalm 91 over my friend every day. The impressions—what I reasoned were imaginations—didn’t stop. Yet I never had a clear word of the Lord “come unto me saying.” read more

Pursuing God in the Dead of Winter

How hot is your spiritual passion when it’s 40 degrees below zero outside?

Because I grew up in Georgia’s sweltering humidity and I now live in Florida’s year-round sunshine, I am not fond of cold weather. I’d rather go barefoot in the sand than trudge through snow in heavy boots. To me, it’s “cold” when I have to wear anything heavier than a T-shirt and shorts, or if I have to cover the Sago palm in my front yard with a plastic sheet on a chilly Florida evening.

But because I told God a long time ago I would go wherever He sends me, I ended up in the Canadian city of Saskatoon two weeks ago. It was minus 40 degrees F on my first night there. Snow was piled everywhere, and the Saskatchewan River was frozen solid, yet my hosts told me this was a “mild” winter. Locals, who start their cars 10 minutes before going anywhere to warm their engines, joke that there are four seasons in Saskatchewan: “Almost winter,” “winter,” “still winter” and “road construction.” read more

sandiefreed

Supernatural Grace to Do the Impossible

When I was praying about the year of 2012, I kept hearing the Lord speak to me about grace. In fact, when you observe the year 2012 and actually add the numbers—two plus zero plus one plus two—it all adds up to five. Biblically, the number five is the number for grace. Therefore, when I heard the Lord begin to minister to me concerning this year and He continued to speak of grace, I really got encouraged when I added those numbers together!

Most of us are aware that grace is unmerited or undeserved favor. I believe this year we will revisit the gift of grace and gain greater understanding of God's goodness. Because God's grace is undeserved, this means that God's goodness is not expressed to each of us because we are good; it is given to us because He is good!

Sometimes it's hard to even wrap our minds around this fact. This is because most of us have, in reality, believed that grace is based upon performance and our religious works. However, receiving grace from God has absolutely nothing to do with our performance at all; it is completely based upon undeserved favor. Think about this for a minute. If God's favor were based upon our ability to do right and perform well, then we would not need His grace, would we? We would then believe that because of our own abilities we have been blessed. This is such a deceptive lie of the enemy. read more

harry-jackson

Class Warfare African-American Style

The New York Times recently featured an innovative MBA program at George Washington University. Not only was the course of study designed to enhance the professional business skills of its participants, it hoped to teach personal business and economics to people vulnerable to personal financial failure.

Who were they? Astute cultural analysts? Children of single-parent households? Convicted felons? People with learning disabilities? No, one of the groups targeted by GWU was retired professional athletes, especially those who played in the NFL. GWU understands something that numerous political ideologues do not: Personal financial management skills must be acquired if personal or business wealth is to be sustained. In other words: “It’s one thing to make money, but it takes skill and training keep it.”

Why would the academics target athletes and other professionals with volatile incomes? The answer is simple: Moving from boom to bust has landed scores of athletes and entertainers in the “poor house.” After watching this year’s Super Bowl, it’s especially hard for most Americans to say the word poverty in the same breath as professional football or award-winning entertainment. Nonetheless the tension between potential, passion and poverty is illustrative of America’s current national financial dilemma. The U.S. is still the richest nation in the world, but we are in danger of squandering our blessed position of influence and our prosperity. read more

The Value of Loneliness

In May 1984 Billy Graham spoke at Westminster Chapel. His subject was “loneliness.” He took his text from a strange verse; Psalm 102:6, in the King James Version, in which the psalmist likens himself to an owl in the desert. Graham definitely hit a nerve! There are so many people today who are lonely.

Loneliness is a painful condition, a dreaded state that, given the choice, most people would do anything to avoid. It is enforced solitude.

There is obviously a significant difference between enforced solitude and chosen solitude. Some of us appreciate the bliss of solitude. Jesus needed to get away from the crowds, and there are some who, by nature, are loners; they love it that way. My friend Robert Amess calls himself “the complete loner,” but he is not lonely. 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

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

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