Charisma's 25th anniversary is an ideal time to thank God for His goodness during the last 25 years. If you've read "Look What the Lord Has Done," Melissa Bogdany's article about our history (see page 112), you've seen how God helped Charisma grow from a small church magazine to the magazine you read today--and how He made it possible for us to add six other magazines to our list of publications, as well as books and Sunday school curriculum. He has certainly done exceedingly, abundantly above all I ever could have asked or thought!
People ask me sometimes if back when we started I could see where we would be today. I always tell them it wouldn't have happened had I not had faith that God would do it. I couldn't foresee the details, of course--such as the names of the other magazines or what our new building would look like. But I "knew in my knower" that what we were doing was of God.
Today, 25 years later, I still believe that. And as God allows, I plan to continue following the vision of reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing around the world. I pray He gives me at least 25 more years!
Our anniversary also gives me an opportunity to thank many of the people God brought alongside me to help carry out His vision. Specifically, I want to thank:
My wife, Joy, who for 28 years (as of the 19th of August) has stuck by me through thick and thin.
She had faith when I didn't. And she has always encouraged me to do the right thing.
The rest of my family, beginning with my sons, Cameron and Chandler, and my mom, Amy Strang, who was visiting our home the day the first issue came off the presses on Aug. 5, 1975. She remembers how excited I was when I brought home that first 32-page issue! And today Howard and Rosella Ridings, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, work with us after encouraging us long-distance for many years.
Our friends at Calvary Assembly of God in Winter Park, who believed in me when I was a young reporter. They gave me the soil into which I could plant my dreams and focus my life's work. I'm pleased that our 25th anniversary celebration, from Aug. 3-5, will be held in their sanctuary.
My friends and leaders in the charismatic community who have encouraged me through the years-- ministries such as The Happy Hunters and individuals such as Oral Roberts, Jack Hayford and T.D. Jakes. It has been a joy to cover this movement from the Roman Catholic charismatics on one end to the so-called Faith Camp on the other.
My staff of more than 200 for their loyalty and hard work--especially Joan Quimby, who has logged 22 years of service, and Dave Welday, who has been with us 19 years. My management team, made up of Bob Minotti, Wendy Cordeiro, Jay Griffin, Tessie DeVore, Dave Welday and my wife, Joy, has an average of 12 years of tenure with our organization.
Robert Walker, the longtime editor of Christian Life, who believed in me enough to allow me the privilege of continuing his life's work. Now, at age 88, Walker continues to be a close friend and adviser.
Our advertisers. In a two-page ad in Christian Retailing this month I thank our top advertisers of the last 25 years for believing in our vision to publish an excellent magazine about the work of the Holy Spirit. (To find out who they are, log on to our Web site at www.charismamag.com/advertisers).
Finally, I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of readers who have supported our ministry by subscribing to Charisma and sharing issues with, or giving gift subscriptions to, their friends. We have no way of knowing how many have subscribed since "day one," but my guess is that it's nearly 2 million people. Thank you for your support. (And keep giving those gift subscriptions to your friends. It helps!)
Gratitude, I believe, is a powerful, often neglected emotion. But today my heart is full as I thank God for all He has allowed me to do in my lifetime--and all He has yet ahead.
Stephen Strang is the founding editor of Charisma. He invites you to join him at the first ever New Man event, to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 15-16. To register, call (800) 837-0378.