So, what is your story? Who has been cruel to you? Perhaps bitterly cruel. What injustice have you suffered? How have you been mistreated? Perhaps miserably so. Who has cheated you? Abused you? Mistreated you? Lied to you? Lied about you? Maybe it was last week. Maybe it was a lifetime ago. read more
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I am calling you from beyond! You have been held in a place that I am calling you from. I am beyond where you are now. Come from where you are to beyond! Come from where you are to beyond! Come from where you are to beyond! For I am marshalling My army and I am calling you forth. I am causing you to be raised up. I am calling even the dry bones to come together this season. I am calling together and raising up this mighty army. You will go forth in My name. You will see kingdoms brought down. You will see kingdoms raised up. This is the season and the hour that I am marshalling My army. read more
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”—1 Peter 5:6-7
We’ve tried as we might to humble ourselves by responding the right way when folks treat us the wrong way—but if we’re honest we’ll admit that it hasn’t always worked. Indeed, we’ve often left the scene of the offense with a bad attitude, complaining to God about how Sister So and So got it all wrong.
We’ve tried as we might to cast our cares upon the Lord—but if we’re honest we’ll admit that we’ve often attempted the task in our own strength. Indeed, we’ve often cast our cares (or our complaints, in many cases) onto a friend instead of the Lord and walked away still trying to carry the oppressive bundle on our already-aching backs.
What’s the problem? Sometimes we take Scriptures out of context. In doing so we lose the fuller meaning. First Peter 5:6-7 offers a strong case in point. Here, the apostle is exhorting us to humble ourselves. But that exhortation comes with a practical how-to instruction that we often forget to employ because we have memorized verse 6 as an individual command and verse 7 as a separate individual command. But the reality is that we humble ourselves in this context by casting our cares on the Lord. read more
I’m old enough to remember when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Freedom protesters danced in the streets in Eastern Europe and Communist regimes fell like dominoes. A huge door of evangelistic opportunity opened in a region where Christians had suffered unimaginable persecution.
The fall of the Soviet empire caught most Christians by surprise. Even though many believers on both sides of the Iron Curtain had been praying for a spiritual breakthrough, few expected the entire region to open so suddenly. Many American Christians remained suspicious—especially those who had warned that Yury Andropov was the Antichrist. (Oops! Wrong again. He died after being in office for only 15 months.) read more
Why God wants you to invest your life in Christ—today
I like this saying: The greatest gift you can give your family and your world is a healthy you! In this day and age, there’s a lot of focus on appearance—your clothes, makeup, your car, your house, even the kind of computer you have. But you can look great on the outside and be an absolute wreck on the inside. That’s how I used to be. I dressed myself up every day, but inside I was a mess in my mind, emotions and attitude.
The Bible says Jesus came to make us completely whole—spirit, soul and body. He wants to heal every part of us because He’s “into” wholeness. He wants to restore everything we lost through sin, ignorance, attacks of the enemy and mistreatment from others. Listen—God is a God of restoration. read more
Egypt is in transition. President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, clearing the way for the armed forces to restore order and shepherd a transition to civilian rule in the September elections. An Open Doors source in the area says the reaction by Egyptian Christians to his resignation is mixed, and it is unclear how the resignation will affect the country's 10 million minority Christians. A spokesperson with Voice of the Martyrs says Egypt's military doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to Christians. There is still much communication going on—e-mails, phone calls, facebooking, tweeting, blogging, and perhaps also an increase in Bible reading, as we try to discern the course Egypt will take and how it will affect the world.
There are at least three Scripture passages that will ultimately come to bear on Egypt: read more
I consider myself open-minded about worship. My tastes in music are eclectic, so I love everything from Hillsong choruses and black gospel anthems to classic hymns and Spanish worship artists Marco Barrientos and Jesús Romero. My playlist even includes Native American, Nigerian and Iranian worship.
I love any music that stirs my soul and points me to heaven, so worshipping the Lord with other believers is one of my favorite pastimes. But there are a few things I’d like to say to worship leaders. Please don’t take these comments as criticism but as encouragement from a brother who has “seen it all” when it comes to the Sunday morning drill. read more
It is imperative that the body of Christ accurately discern the times and seasons we find ourselves in. As the sons of Issachar, we too, must be aware of not only what God is doing at the moment, but we must be aware of what is looming before us.
I have been listening intently to what the Spirit of the Lord is saying for this hour. As we enter into 2011, I believe God in His goodness, is giving us insight and direction for the upcoming season. read more
My Egyptian friend Nadia*, who was raised in a Christian family in Cairo, has been glued to Twitter, television and various blogs since violent demonstrations erupted in her country two weeks ago. But she is also praying—and asking the Christian community in the United States to join her.
“For the church in Egypt, it feels like we are going through a spiritual birth canal,” Nadia told me in an interview this week. read more
It’s time for the Davids to arise with prophetic warfare strategies that bring God’s will to the land. That’s what rings in my spirit as I continue my news coverage about the crisis in Egypt from a natural and biblical perspective.
A recent article called for the prophets in the land to step forth and questioned why prophets in Egypt were so silent in such a critical hour. There could be any number of reasons why we’re not hearing much from prophets in Egypt. Maybe they are crying out in travail even now. Maybe fear has gripped their hearts. Or maybe their prophetic utterances just aren’t making it beyond the borders of the nation.
Whatever the case may be, I believe we should take the crisis in Egypt as a wake-up call. I believe God is more apt to speak to the prophets in the land who are actively praying for their nation in good times and bad. I believe in patriotic prophets who will stand in the gap for their nation and speak forth a prophetic word boldly whether it’s popular or not. read more
What if we were to use everything God has given us to reach our world?
Scientists have long known that we use only a small portion of our intellectual capabilities. Consider what might happen if we used just a little bit more--or even all--of our latent mental abilities.
Civilization would be much further along than it is now. Technology, inventions, science and medicine all would be more advanced. Education would be improved. Music and art would be drastically enhanced and more enjoyable.
Like you, I am greatly distressed about the situation in the Middle East. Below is a word to the Christians in the Middle East and the worldwide church, along with a prayer guide for Egypt and the Middle East.
There are certain things that I have not written to all, but I believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind much of this, or at least taking advantage of it. As you may know, Mubarak just announced today that he will not seek re-election. We must continue to pray for stability in Egypt, for a peaceful transition that will not result in leadership by the Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law. read more
If you want to avoid becoming an old wineskin, make sure to keep these five hindrances out of your life.
I got some funny looks 11 years ago when I told people that I planned to be ordained in a mainline Pentecostal denomination. Most of my friends were supportive when I explained that I made this decision because I was looking for accountability and spiritual mentors. But critics told me I was aligning myself with “an old wineskin.” In their opinion, any church group that is more than 30 years old has outlived its usefulness and become a religious fossil.
I chose to reject the fossil argument—mainly because (1) I know God has the power to renew His people no matter how old their group is, and (2) even young organizations can become religious and ineffective, regardless of how trendy and culturally relevant they pretend to be. read more
February 1 is a significant day for our company. It's the day we drop the name "Strang Communications" which we have been using for nearly 30 years and go by our new name: Charisma Media. We've sent out "news releases" so you may have heard about this. But I decided to send this to you because I felt you would be interested.
I shared "my heart" in a column in the February issue of Charisma and told why, as the founder of this company, I feel led to make this change. The easiest way for me is to let you read my actual column below. And then below that is the press release we sent out which has the "who, what, when, where and why" journalistic angle to the story for those of you who are interested. read more
Normally my yard does not crunch when I walk in it. So I got curious in November when I started hearing a distinctive crunching sound everywhere I went. I discovered that the oaks in Florida were producing an abundant crop of acorns—up to four times the normal amount, in fact. Acorns were everywhere—covering sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, filling gutters, and rolling around inside the chassis of my car.
I promptly christened 2010 the Year of the Acorn and began investigating why the trees were dropping so many of the hard, brown seeds. Were squirrels sending a distress signal? Could we use the acorns for food? (I imagined acorn-encrusted tilapia and acorn frappuccinos.) Or was this a sign of global warming? read more
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