The Strang Report http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:11:44 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Say, 'Happy Birthday, Jesus' by Helping a Child in Haiti http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28193-say-happy-birthday-jesus-by-helping-a-child-in-haiti http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28193-say-happy-birthday-jesus-by-helping-a-child-in-haiti

When Hurricane Matthew tore up the east coast of Florida in early October, we were forced to close our offices to ride out the storm. Personally, I lost a couple of big trees and had water damage from all the rain, but it was nothing like what the meteorologists predicted. We were able to clean up the damage, and life went quickly back to normal.

Unfortunately, that was not the case for Haiti, where the Category 4 hurricane did incredible damage a few days before it hit Florida and the Southeastern United States. Everyday life will continue to challenge those living in this impoverished island country. But as Christmas draws near, we hope you'll join other Charisma readers to make a difference in the life of a child in Haiti, a child who needs to experience the love of Christ.

It's been several years since we've asked our readers to participate in a fundraiser for the poor at Christmas. Considering the devastation of Hurricane Matthew and the many needs in Haiti, I'm asking you to help us help those who have so little.

I believe this is what Jesus meant when He said if we do it to one of the least of these, we've done it unto Him (Matt. 25:40). And isn't it His birthday we celebrate Dec. 25? 

There are relatively few ministries specifically raising money for the poor at Christmas. If you support one, please continue to do so. But for many who won't do much more than slip a dollar into the red Salvation Army kettle in front of their local retail store, this is your opportunity to make a difference where a great need exists. We raise the money through Christian Life Missions, our nonprofit partner, and 100 percent of what you send goes straight to children in Haiti who otherwise would have nothing at Christmas. Your gift of any size will make a huge difference.

For 60 years, Christian Life Missions has been giving readers of Christian Life magazine (our predecessor) and now Charisma a way to channel donated funds to worthy causes—usually ones we write about.

Starting in 1955, Christian Life Missions raised funds for poor Christians in war-torn Korea, and over the years, we have helped ministries large and small with donations from our readers. The efforts have amounted to millions of dollars.

One fundraising project was designed to help a young woman named Danita Estrella. We wrote about her burning desire to help in this destitute nation. Danita had no experience, and almost no money. At the end of the article, we invited our readers to support her. Around $70,000 came in, which gave her seed money for her ministry. At that time, she had 26 children in her care. Today, she runs a children's home housing 108, a school for 300 children, a pediatric medical center for the northeast region of Haiti and a nondenominational church to reach the community. Learn more through her website, danitaschildren.org.

After the hurricane, my wife and I felt we should donate to her ministry. I thought about how little those children have compared to Americans. When we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord (Prov. 19:17).

We know Danita's ministry and its integrity. We will send her everything we raise. She will spend it all on giving gifts to children who otherwise have nothing. Those gifts might be toys, maybe pairs of shoes or something else they need. They will be gifts to brighten their lives and let them know someone in America cared enough to send them.

Our company will also give generously, but we can't do it alone. Please give generously, knowing that the children will benefit entirely from your generosity. Overhead and administrative expenses will be paid for separately. Danita told me this allows them to give to children outside their ministry—and to share the love of Jesus in the surrounding community.

Please make out your tax-deductible checks to Christmas for Danita's Children, c/o Christian Life Missions, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, Florida 32746. You can also give during business hours by calling 407-333-0600, ext. 5100. Online you can give via PayPal at christianlifemissions.org.

Imagine how much we could send to Haiti if every reader gave $5 or $10, added to the large gifts that will come in.

During this Christmas season, remember again if you do this to one of the least of these my brethren, you've done it as unto Christ. What a wonderful way to say, "Happy Birthday, Jesus" and "Merry Christmas." {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Wed, 30 Nov 2016 22:00:00 -0500
16 Things I'm Thankful for in 2016 http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28152-16-things-i-m-thankful-for-this-year http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28152-16-things-i-m-thankful-for-this-year

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday when we pause to thank God for our blessings. This year I'm sharing 16 things for which I'm thankful in 2016. We take too many things for granted. I've found the act of writing a list helps me focus in a way I don't focus day-to-day. My list is a very personal one, but I encourage you to make your own. Maybe your list will encourage you to live with an attitude of gratitude.

1. I'm thankful for salvation, peace with God and living in the power of the Holy Spirit. As Mark 8:36 says, "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?"

2. I'm thankful for my family. My wife, Joy, enjoys being behind the scenes, so most are not aware of her enormous influence on our ministry and on my life. I'm thankful for 44 years of marriage and for her support she shows in so many ways.

3. I'm also proud and thankful for my sons, Cameron and Chandler, and my grandson, Cohen. We will be spending Thanksgiving together at Cameron's, and this year he's cooking. His mother and I are thankful for that!

4. I'm thankful for my 88-year-old mom, Amy Strang; my brother, Paul, and sister, Karen Whittington; and the rest of my extended family. I am indeed blessed.

5. I'm thankful Donald Trump won the 2016 election. It was an answer to prayer, and I believe it has given us a window to see some things shift in this country, as I've written before.

6. I'm thankful we may have had a small part in that election. The election was very close, but a shift among "evangelicals" toward the end helped put Trump over the top. We devoted an entire issue of Charisma, as well as many of our online articles, to the election. I believe our coverage helped believers understand the stakes in this election and motivated them to get involved and vote for Trump, even though both candidates were very flawed.

7. We published one particular blog by Pastor Jim Garlow on Aug. 11. His breakdown of the important issues this election went viral and was shared more than 4.1 million times. I'll admit over the years I've felt like someone crying in the wilderness in terms of alerting Christians to get involved to change the downward spiral of our culture. I'm thankful that is beginning to change—perhaps because things have gotten so bad! But leaders like Garlow, Lance Wallnau, Frank Amedia and many others are stepping up and providing leadership, and I am hopeful the church is also beginning to wake up.

8. I'm thankful for the team at Charisma Media. I am blessed to enjoy coming to work every day. And I work along some wonderful people as well, including executive vice presidents Tessie DeVore and Dr. Steve Greene, who head up our book group and media group respectively, as well as my wife, Joy, who is the CFO, and Controller Ken Hartman. They all share the vision to minister to the Spirit-filled community with the materials we produce. That's our mission, but we do it as a business, which is not an easy balancing act. There are many others on the team (too numerous to mention) who work hard every day to help Joy and me fulfill the call of God on our lives. I'm thankful for each one!

9. I'm thankful Charisma Media is growing and profitable. In an environment where many media companies and ministries are having trouble shifting to the new realities, I'm thankful for the blessings of God.

10. I'm thankful for the many authors we have, especially Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. His latest release, The Book of Mysteries, has already made the major best-sellers lists. He is such a blessing to us in so many ways. His books make such an impact, which is why we are in the publishing business.

11. I'm thankful for God's Word, and I'm thankful He opened the door for us to publish the Modern English Version. I believe the MEV is the most readable and accurate literal translation based on the King James Version. This year we have released The Promises of God Creative Journaling Bible, which has proven to be very popular right before Christmas.

12. I've heard if you have five really good friends when you die, you are blessed. I have more than that. First, the men in my CEO group of Christian executives are immeasurably valuable to me. I don't need to name each one—they know who they are—but we've met for the past 15 years. In addition, I have many buddies who enjoy what I enjoy—racquetball, boating, golf and just hanging out. Thanks Barry, Scott, Rodney, Bob and others.

13. I'm thankful to be in a healthy local fellowship called One Church, pastored by my longtime friend Ron Johnson.

14. I'm thankful for health. If you've followed me, you know I went through prostate cancer nearly three years ago. I'm thankful to be cancer-free and very healthy for my age. I never take my health for granted.

15. Some things came together financially this year for Joy and me. It's gratifying to work hard, focus, set goals and then see something accomplished. This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful that things can work out the way they should!

16. Finally, I've been blessed with mentors throughout my life. At a time in my life when I now mentor others, I am thankful for the impact and mentorship of Pastor Jack Hayford. I met him in my 20s, got to know him in my 30s, and have worked closely with him since my 40s. No one will ever know the blessing he has been to Joy and me. Jack took up the role that Jamie Buckingham had played in our lives after he died too young in 1992. His work lives on through his books and website, and I was interested in the free online book that was being offered from Jamie on Thanksgiving. His book, Thanksgiving in the Pit, is available for free on Amazon until Nov. 27. I'll close by encouraging you to download and read this excellent book.

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taylor.berglund@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang) The Strang Report Wed, 23 Nov 2016 20:30:00 -0500
Lessons We Can All Learn From Jim Bakker's Fall and Rise http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28083-lessons-we-can-all-learn-from-jim-bakker-s-fall-and-rise http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28083-lessons-we-can-all-learn-from-jim-bakker-s-fall-and-rise

Pain is a part of life. The infilling of the Holy Spirit helps us deal with pain but is no guarantee Christians will be immune to our share of it. The question is not whether you will experience pain, but how you will respond when the pain comes.

It's been said the heat that melts the butter hardens the clay. Too many Christians, I've observed in my six decades on Earth, melt at the slightest problem. They've been led to believe following Christ means a life of joy and fulfillment. That's absolutely true, but the way that message has been preached, at least in America, has left some with an unhealthy expectation that the Lord only allows smooth sailing in our lives.

On top of this, an overemphasis on the so-called prosperity gospel based on a mistranslation of 1 John 3 that God wants you to prosper has caused many a shipwreck for Christians who bought into it without understanding being a Christian is more than living like you won the lottery.

Jim Bakker should know. He told me he got off base partly because of an overemphasis on the prosperity gospel. And he has experienced far more pain in his life than almost anyone I know. In this month's cover story of Charisma magazine, I tell how Jim Bakker lost everything—his ministry, his reputation and his wife, and even his home burned to the ground. In addition, he lost his freedom and was in prison for almost five years. Despite it all, he has come back—in some ways stronger than ever.

Sometimes I will write an editorial about our cover story in Charisma. You can click here to read the digital version of that issue about Bakker, who I have covered since before the infamous "fall" in 1987. Here I share my own thoughts and conclusions on his life and I ask how you'll respond when the inevitable crises in life cause you to despair.

You may never experience the depth of what Jim Bakker experienced. But all of us will experience loss, whether it's the loss of a dream or a job or one's health. Maybe it will be the loss of a marriage. And even if it's not the loss of any other of these things, each of us will experience the loss of a loved one because no one can escape the inevitability of death.

We can all learn valuable life lessons from how Jim Bakker fell and how the Lord raised him up in this hour:

Humble yourself. If Jim Bakker was haughty before the fall, he is humble today. What happened to him was unjust in my opinion. Maybe he couldn't help being humiliated as he lost everything as the world press covered every twist and turn. Read how low he was when he came out of prison. Yet I've known others who were humiliated by lesser "scandals," and they tried to justify themselves and remained prideful. Whatever your pain is, embrace humility and ask God what He is trying to teach you.

Learn something new. While Jim was in prison cleaning toilets, he took time to get a doctorate degree by correspondence. But more than that, he did an in-depth study of the words of Jesus and also the book of Revelation. It was unplanned and unwanted, but it was like a five-year sabbatical, and he took advantage of every moment to study Scripture. So if you are bedridden due to your health or out of work, what creative way can you spend the time learning something new or growing spiritually?

Realize the Lord may be preparing you for something you can't anticipate. Most of us don't change unless we go through a difficult time. If this is happening to you, realize God has a bigger plan and allow your trial to shape your character. In Jim Bakker's case, it was becoming an expert on end times so he could help ready the body of Christ for whatever difficulties may be ahead. If PTL had continued to go and grow, would he have learned that? No. But look at the people he has been able to help. What is the equivalent of this in your life?

Finally, never give up. As long as there's life, there's hope. Nothing will continue as it is now—either very good or very bad. So you may feel overwhelmed, but that doesn't mean the sun won't rise tomorrow. Meanwhile, remember the words of Winston Churchill: "Never give up."

One of the things I admire about Jim Bakker is that he didn't give up. Instead, he started over, built a great organization and a great legacy, and served as an example for us all.

You can read my article on Jim and the entire November issue of Charisma by clicking here for the digital edition.

A few months ago, I interviewed Jim while I was on a visit to Morningside. I made it into a podcast which had the most downloads up to that time. Plus, I wrote about it in my newsletter which you can read here if you missed it. Take time to listen to the podcast again and to share it with others.

Take time to like my Steve Strang page on Facebook. During this election season, my audience has really grown! And as usual, share this with others you think would enjoy it.

 
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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Tue, 15 Nov 2016 19:20:00 -0500
Trump's Prophesied Victory Nothing Short of a Modern-Day Miracle for the Nation http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28065-trump-s-prophesied-victory-nothing-short-of-a-modern-day-miracle-for-the-nation http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28065-trump-s-prophesied-victory-nothing-short-of-a-modern-day-miracle-for-the-nation

Someone asked me why I flew up for the Donald Trump Victory Rally in New York City on election evening when all of the polls and the pundits were saying he would lose. I did so because I knew several credible leaders with a prophetic gift had prophesied he would win. I believed the prophets instead of the pollsters.  

We did podcasts and published articles both in print and online by people such as Frank Amedia, Lance Wallnau, Rick Joyner and Chuck Pierce saying they believed that Trump would win. In fact, Pierce prophesied it several years ago. Both Amedia and Wallnau prophesied it around the time that he announced he would run for election a year and a half ago.  

It's an absolute modern-day miracle that Donald Trump, who never served in the military and never held an elected office, was elected over 17 very qualified opponents in the Republican Primary and beat the Clinton machine. Clearly, something is happening spiritually. As I've written before, I believe that God is answering our prayer by raising up this leader. Wallnau said he's like Cyrus, an unbelieving king God used to rescue His people.   

Even the secular media is paying attention. Today, USA Today ran a story about the prophets quoting the same people I mention, and even quoting one of our stories.  

This is not a matter of who is right or wrong in predicting the election. In a two-way race, there is a 50/50 chance that you will get the right answer no matter who you pick. Rather, God revealed to His servants who are listening that He was going to raise up someone entirely out of the system.

I'll admit that I did not recognize early what God was doing. In fact, I met with some other evangelical leaders who were very interested in finding a candidate who supported our values. No one in that small group backed Donald Trump. But before the election was over, all of them backed him, and 81 percent of evangelicals are said to have voted for him. This is the largest percentage of the so-called evangelical vote than any recent Republican has ever received.  

Meanwhile, there were loud evangelical voices saying not to vote for Trump. In fact, one Christian magazine even suggested that he step down from the race after the Access Hollywood tapes revealed that he said some very lewd things about women 11 years ago. Of course, he apologized and said that he regretted saying it, and that it did not represent how he feels today.

But people appearing to be self-righteous said no Christian should support someone with the moral issues that Donald Trump has in his background. I did not hear a lot of criticism from these same people for Hillary Clinton and the things that were revealed by WikiLeaks about things that she had done, including visiting Orgy Island, which was not reported widely in the press.

It makes you wonder how much clout these evangelical leaders have when their followers voted for Trump anyway.    

As I was leaving the ballroom at the New York Hilton around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, there were media everywhere stopping passersby, shoving a mic in their face and asking questions. One Fox reporter from Chicago asked me how I felt about the election. I told him I was ecstatic and it was an answer to prayer. As I left, he told me off camera that he was a Christian too and he was glad to run interviews that mentioned the Lord.

I believe that this election cannot be explained in normal political terms, but instead has a spiritual aspect that most do not recognize. I believe God is making a shift in our country and that He kept Hillary Clinton and her corruption from plunging our nation even further into a downward spiral.  

Donald Trump cannot turn things around himself. It remains to be seen if he makes good on all the commitments he made to the nation and to the Christian leaders with whom he met numerous times before the election. He needs our support and he needs our prayers. 

As I reported earlier, President-elect Trump's acceptance speech Wednesday morning was very conciliatory. He did not boast or repeat a lot of his campaign rhetoric. Instead, he reached out even to those who opposed him and promised to be everyone's president. We must stand with him and support him, believing that this is an answer to prayer and a moment in which God sovereignly intervened in the direction of our country. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 11 Nov 2016 22:00:00 -0500
Trump's Win an Answer to Prayer—Now the Work Begins http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28028-god-answered-our-prayers-now-the-work-begins http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28028-god-answered-our-prayers-now-the-work-begins

Yesterday was a historic day. As Charisma has reported, it has been prophesied that Donald Trump would be elected president. The pundits of the nation indicated they wanted a different direction. I believe God answered our prayers. 

Thanks to Pastor Darrell Scott of Cleveland, Ohio (with whom I recorded two podcasts last week), I was invited to New York to the rally to celebrate Donald Trump's victory. It was an experience of a lifetime. I waited in the ballroom of the New York Hilton from 6:30 p.m. until 3 a.m. with a couple thousand Trump loyalists who helped him get elected. We left only after Donald Trump acknowledged his win on national television and, as you can hopefully witness yourself, his brief remarks were very conciliatory.

During the evening, I posted some things to my various websites. But it was so crowded and so noisy it was hard to post very much. Plus, the digital signal was so poor I could record only one Facebook Live event. And before the evening ended, my cellphone battery died.

On Wednesday morning, I recorded my observations in a 26-minute podcast. In it, I described what I saw and heard last night and what I believe this means for America and the church.

Rarely is the spiritual aspect discussed in the political debate. Many don't care or don't see a spiritual aspect. Some of it is because Christians are mean-spirited or just wrong when it comes to predictions.

We understand there is a spiritual aspect, so we published an article from Lance Wallnau saying God was raising up Trump as he did Cyrus in Isaiah 45. Frank Amedia has written about and recorded podcasts concerning what he believes God said.

A friend from church texted me after Trump was declared the winner: "Your prophets might have hit a grand slam." That wasn't our intent. Rather, we were just trying to hear from God, not just predict an election outcome like a prognosticator.

Some other "evangelical" magazines actually called for Trump to step down due to imperfections in his personality, style or conduct. I acknowledge that Donald Trump is far from perfect—something he acknowledges in more humility than I've seen in most political leaders (and even many Christian leaders). But picking out those flaws is like picking a speck out of his eye while ignoring many logs in his opponent's eye—not only in policy positions, but in what seems to be outright corruption and breaking the law.

Even though we took a lot of heat for it, I felt it important to put these prophecies on the record so we can begin to understand how to hear from God in these matters in the future.

In a way similar to how Donald Trump will overturn the status quo in Washington, I believe new Christian leaders must change the status quo in the church as it relates to public policy and influencing culture. I believe new leaders like Wallnau, Amedia and Scott as well as Jim Bakker, Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas and Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in San Diego will motivate Christians to move beyond voting for personalities and vote on principles referred to in political parties' platforms.

I say a lot more in this podcast. Please listen and share it with others. {eoa}

 

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Wed, 09 Nov 2016 20:00:00 -0500
What Is a Christian's Role After This Contentious Election? http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28012-what-is-a-christian-s-role-after-this-contentious-election http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28012-what-is-a-christian-s-role-after-this-contentious-election

In a few hours, we will know who won this election. I was in line at 7 a.m. when the polls opened. My wife voted early by mail. If you haven't voted yet, I encourage you to vote! It's your right as an American and your responsibility as a Christian.

You probably know I endorsed Donald Trump, and I believe he will win. In fact, I'm flying to New York to attend his victory party. I'll report from New York what I see and hear.

No matter who wins, we will wake up tomorrow to an even more divided America. Most Bible-believing Christians I know voted for Trump-Pence because of their stand to defend religious liberty, their opposition to abortion and other issues I've written about before. But what should be our attitude toward others who didn't back Trump should he win? Or what is our attitude if Hillary Clinton wins and how should we treat those who support her?

Yesterday we posted an outstanding op-ed on charismacaucus.com by John Stemberger, a longtime friend and president of Florida Family Policy Council. He is an Orlando-based attorney who has been an advocate for life, marriage and family for more than 30 years.

We need to heed John's admonition to be salt and light no matter the outcome of this election. Remember, the Bible says they will know we are Christians by our love, not by how we vote for president.

Because every believer needs to read what he said and because he said it better than I could, I asked permission to make him a guest writer for this Strang Report. After you read this article, share it with others.

Leadership in an Angry and Divided Nation

By John Stemberger

Barring some kind of freak election scenario with hanging chads in a key swing state like Florida in 2000, America will wake up on Nov. 9, 2016, to the sober realization that we have elected a new president. Whether it is Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, the president-elect will begin leading with the reality that roughly one-half of the nation doesn't just dislike—but viscerally hates—him or her.

Most American citizens, for very different reasons are angry, really angry.

Bernie Sanders supporters are angry at Hillary Clinton's corruption and crony capitalism. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz supporters are angry at conservatives that supported or helped Trump in the primary. Trump supporters and members of the Tea Party are totally furious that the GOP Establishment did not stand up stronger against Obama. The GOP Establishment is reeling because they argue that Trump hijacked the Republican Party, that he is utterly uncivil and that his presence has caused other down ballot Republican candidates to lose in races with small victory margins.

Most disconcerting of all, evangelical Christians are angry at each other. Some are upset that #NeverTrump Christians voted for third-party candidates, which helped Clinton with little regard for the future of the Supreme Court. Others are upset that Christian leaders were willing to risk compromising their witness to an unbelieving world by openly promoting a man whose personal moral history is deplorable.

Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins, it seems inevitable that America will be angrier and more divided. This heightened "national anger" and division will present a major challenge in the ongoing struggle to maintain a civil and orderly society. Within the church, we will have continuing challenges to achieve unity, advance God's kingdom, and effectively proclaim the gospel.

In some ways, I am just as concerned with what happens in the days following Nov. 9, as I am with the outcome of the election itself.

What should our response, as Christians, be to this unfortunate national chaos?

When the election results are announced, millions of Americans will feel a sense of despair, disenfranchisement and indifference. For various reasons, many will be tempted to withdraw and give up on active citizenship and self-government and may even go so far as to do something radical and foolish to perpetuate social unrest. Sadly, these reactions will not be limited to the culture at large but will also be found within the Christian community.

If you are a pastor or Christian leader and you think that this strife does not exist within your church or ministry, think again.

What should our response, as Christians, be to this unfortunate national chaos?

What can we say and do to bring spiritually clear thinking in the midst of confusion? How can Christian leaders navigate healing between angry, divided and emotional souls into the future?

Here are five ways I believe Christian leaders can and should honor God as they lead others in "the days after" Nov. 8:

1. Christian principles hold the key to creating a civilized society and ultimately bringing peace between men, and between man and God. The ideas of religious liberty and the rights of conscience were birthed during the Reformation. These seeds of faith need to be germinated again today to robustly grow and create civility in our citizens. A Judeo-Christian worldview gave birth to the freedoms of the American experience. What the secular left does not understand is that when they undermine a person's deeply held religious Christian faith, beliefs and values they are actually undermining the very roots of the freedom they rely upon to oppose us. The concepts of separation of powers, rule of law, a written constitution, federalism, all men being created equal—these are ideas which spring from Christian history and the principles of Scripture. Most importantly, Christ has the power to enable men to see the reality of their own human condition. Christianity frees the human heart from its bondage to sin. Steps toward final resolution of our nation's internal warring against ourselves can only be found when we first individually make peace with God. When we truly understand the high price that was paid for our own forgiveness and then offered as free gift, how can we withhold our forgiveness of others.

2. We must start the peacemaking process in our own personal relationships. If you bitterly resent that #NeverTrump member of your family or church who voted third party (helping Clinton), then either choose to forgive them in your heart or directly reconcile. If you have grudges against Christians who were helping Trump in the primary, you must clear your heart and mind toward them as well. The same applies to those who foolishly supported Hillary Clinton outright. Whoever it is you would rather avoid and not talk with, much less serve or fellowship with because of their politics, is precisely the person you need to start restoring your relationship with. C.S. Lewis once said, "We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it." Before we can help the culture heal, we need to start with our own hearts. The cause of the gospel and the survival of the republic demand that we make things right between us so we can move forward in unity.

3. We need to develop a long-term view with long-range plans to win back the culture and our government. Many leaders and funders of the conservative movement trying to change society only think and invest in the short term, or election to election. We find that Christian leaders are typically concerned with either the culture or politics—but seldom both. For instance, restoring a culture of marriage and family may take many decades. We should start with our own families and churches. We can never give up believing in, fighting for, and protecting the non-negotiables, both in the political and cultural realm. These are the very foundations of our civilization. We need to begin to develop the same kind of long range and tenacious perspective on these issues as the pro-life movement did after the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. The "idea of America" is slipping away and unless we have a long-term, disciplined strategy and vision to win the hearts and minds of future generations, we will have little chance of winning elections or controlling political decision-making in the future.

4. Remember that God is sovereign and we have no other choice but to trust Him for our future. Statements like these are often made by Christians, but seldom truly understood for the life-changing power they contain. The truth of God's sovereignty is also commonly misapplied to the wrong side of history. When we are faced with evil and injustice, we have a moral responsibility to make choices and act in accordance with God's Word. However, when evil and injustice are in the past and behind us, we must rest in God's sovereign plan realizing that His ways are higher than our ways. God is constantly intervening in history and He can be trusted with the future, even if we do not fully understand His plan.

5. There is still some good in this world and it's worth fighting for. No matter how dark and desperate the world appears, Christians must never lose hope. Relentless hope should be ingrained in our DNA. Our faith and trust cannot be ultimately in the government, or in any leader, but only in God Himself. Scripture shows that God often does his best redemptive work in dark and desperate times. Christ's brutal torture and death on the cross is "Exhibit A" that God can use even the darkest moments in world history for His Glory and for our ultimate good; even when we don't understand why. In J.R.R. Tolkien's epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sam urges Frodo to not to give up on his mission—though the journey will be dark and desperate. He pleads, "There is some good in this world Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for!" When we see a man and a woman commit themselves for life unconditionally in marriage; when we hold and look into the eyes of a baby who has been rescued from abortion; when we place that same newborn into the loving hands of a family; when our families are able to teach, guide and protect children from the many dangers and deceptions of this world; when we are free to exercise and live out our faith without governmental interference; when we see the tears of others who have come to faith—these things are examples of the good in this world that is always worth fighting for. Looking forward, we need to develop a kind of spiritual resilience that shields us from discouragement, cynicism and the temptation to give up when the path is difficult. As long as God gives us breath, we must be willing to run the race and fight the good fight.

Christians understand there is a time for peace and a time for anger. But they also understand that "the anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God." Let us think and pray now for the discernment to know the difference as we lead others into this next season of our nation's history. {eoa}

John Stemberger is president of Florida Family Policy Council. He is an Orlando based attorney who has been an advocate for life, marriage and family for over 30 years.

This article was originally published at thestream.com. Used with the author's permission.

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Tue, 08 Nov 2016 15:00:00 -0500
Wise Analysis of the Culture Wars in America and Why You Must Get Involved http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28113-wise-analysis-of-the-culture-wars-in-america-and-why-you-must-get-involved http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/28113-wise-analysis-of-the-culture-wars-in-america-and-why-you-must-get-involved

George O. Wood leads the Assemblies of God, one of the major Christian denominations, as general superintendent. The Assemblies of God is one of the few denominations that continue to grow.

In the nine years he has been in that role, Dr. Wood has proven to be a capable and wise leader. Now, he is speaking out on the cultural issues that beset our nation. Recently, he wrote a letter to more than 37,000 ordained Assemblies of God pastors in which he talks about how we must get involved to stem the tide of cultural decline or face very serious consequences to our religious freedom. He says it so well that I that I decided I would make it a guest column for my newsletter today. We posted the article on charismanews.com a month ago, before the election, and it really resonated with readers, as it has 104,000 shares.

Many of us feel we have a bit of reprieve with the election of Donald Trump, especially in regards to Supreme Court appointees. The justices Donald Trump appoints will hopefully overturn some of the grievous left-wing interpretations of governmental regulations that discriminate against Christians. Yet the battle is far from over. I urge you, take heed to what Dr. Wood writes and share this article.

George O. Wood Offers a Grievous Warning American Christians Should Read Right Now

By George O. Wood

I feel impelled to write you this most unusual pastoral letter. I do it out of deep concern and I ask you to hear my heart.

We are on the precipice of losing critical religious liberty protections in our country. Over the past 25 years, the Supreme Court has severely limited the traditional understanding of the First Amendment to the Constitution. While matters like selection of ministers and internal doctrinal issues are probably not under near-term threat, the Constitution is no longer interpreted by courts to give people of faith, as well as the schools and service ministries we form, the protection we need in order to fully live out the implications of our most cherished beliefs. Meanwhile state courts, legislatures and city councils around the country have moved to further narrow the protections granted for religious liberty, as their citizens must choose between adherence to religious faith and full participation in the public square.

The threats to religious freedom that are now upon us can be likened to the frog put into a pan of water placed on the stove. The water warms gradually and the frog does not realize its peril until it is too late to jump out of the pan.

Many evangelical and Pentecostal believers and leaders have not been previously alarmed at how the "pan" has been gradually heated in the assault against religious liberty. For example, in our own Fellowship I and district offices contacted nearly 2,000 credentialed ministers to support a religious freedom bill just a month ago that was before a committee in the Missouri House of Representatives. Less than 15 percent of them even bothered to respond. The bill failed in committee and significant religious liberty protections were lost. We are like the situation described by Jesus in the Parable of the weeds and the wheat: "But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat" (Matt. 13:25). We have largely been sleeping. Have we awakened too late?

I trust not.

Certainly the pending act (as of this writing) in the California legislature should wake us up. The California Senate passed Senate Bill 1146 which would either force schools like our own Vanguard University to radically change their mission or close down. The bill seeks both to shame faith-based colleges and universities and to declare their students unworthy of benefits that are made available by the state to every other similar institution in California.

 

Vanguard's president, Dr. Mike Beals, stated: "This means that mission-based aspects of religious colleges and universities, which include prayer in classes, chapel services, spiritual formation activities and faith-infused curriculum, as well as requiring a statement of faith for admission and requiring ministry-based service experiences would be at risk if Senate Bill 1146 is passed as is." The bill is an intentional and all-out assault on our religious distinctives.

As I write, the bill is under consideration by a House committee. The fact that it passed the state Senate and is under consideration by the state House should ring a ten-alarm bell. If the attempt to gut religious liberty for colleges and universities is successful in California, you can be sure other dominoes will fall in California and across the country.

The secularists in our society seek to redefine the First Amendment protection of the "free exercise" of religion, to a mere right of worship. In other words, their view is: "If you are going to be bigoted in your pro-life views or your view that marriage is between a man and a woman and that fornication (both heterosexual and homosexual) is morally wrong—then you must confine your views within the four walls of your sanctuary. But don't bring your bigotry into the public square." A society that adopts such a view may be setting the stage for a future day when even a defense of biblical teaching on human sexuality from the pulpit will bring with it the risk of punishment by the government such as in the loss of our long-held tax-exempt status without which many ministries would not survive.

At a recent meeting I attended in Washington, D.C., that dealt with the protection of religious liberty, the keynote speaker stated: "We are in mortal combat in this country over religious liberty." Don't believe me? Consider what Harvard Law School professor Mark Tushnet has written:

No conservatives demonstrated any interest in trading off recognition of LGBT rights for "religious liberty" protections. Only now that they've lost the battle over LGBT rights, have they made those protections central–seeing them, I suppose, as a new front in the culture wars. ... [T]aking a hard line ("You lost, live with it") is better than trying to accommodate the losers.... Trying to be nice to the losers didn't work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown [v. Board of Education]. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.) ... [T]he war's over, and we won. ... [T]taking a hard line means opposing on both policy and constitutional grounds free-standing so-called "religious liberty" laws. ... It also means being pretty leery about ... agreement by Christian conservatives to support extending general nondiscrimination laws to cover the LGBT community in exchange for including 'religious liberty' exemptions.

On this analogy, people are faith are as bad as the Confederates and Jim Crow segregationists, as bad as World War II-era German Nazis and Japanese militarists. And notice that Tushnet is not just opposing religious freedom protections in nondiscrimination laws, he's also opposing "free-standing so-called 'religious liberty' laws." This kind of derision, by a prominent professor at an elite law school, is troubling.

How did we reach the place where we are? Let me suggestion the following four steps are taking place which have brought us to this point.

Caricature

Let me illustrate what I mean by caricature. Picture a first-grade class. The teacher is a wonderful young woman in her late twenties with two small children at home. She leaves the room momentarily and the class clown goes to the blackboard or white board and draws a frowning stick figure and labels it "teacher." The stick figure drawn bears no relation to reality except in the mind of the first grader who drew it.

So, what is the caricature being given to Bible-believing Christians by the secular left? "Hateful, mean, bigoted, narrow minded" and a host of other terms. This caricature doesn't bear any resemblance to the overwhelming majority of Christians who bring great value to society through how they live, work, and contribute to the public good.

Someone has said, "If I can define you, I can confine you." Once the caricature above attaches to believing Christians, we become identified through that false lens. Thus, for example, when we attempt to support religious freedom bills in legislatures, we are immediately defined as "haters." Big businesses and the media target legislative members and engender public support for the idea that core religious rights that were long the subject of broad societal consensus, are in fact unjustifiable shields for "bigoted" religious people and institutions that must not be tolerated.

Marginalization

Once the caricature is drawn, then it becomes easy to move to the next step—marginalization.

Think of this, for example, why is it that there is no evangelical on the Supreme Court? Evangelicals are one of the largest minorities in the United States. But, our pro-life position and views on marriage are regarded as not acceptable and militate against an appointment to the Supreme Court—and beyond that, to appellate courts and district courts. Our views are simply unacceptable to the political powers that be and we are sidelined from the public square—marginalized.

Ask yourself when you vote in the 2016 election: Would this candidate for president or the senate be more likely to appoint or vote to confirm a person with a pro-life and pro-marriage position as between a man and a woman? Would the presidential candidate be more likely to appoint people who will uphold the protection of the free exercise of religion, or erode it further?

Since the Supreme Court has now become a super-legislature in our country, my vote for president and Congressional candidates will depend entirely on the answers to the above questions in view of the fact that the next president will shape the Supreme Court, lower courts, and the culture of America for the next several decades.

It would be a step forward for truer diversity with evangelicals on the Supreme Court as well as other federal and state courts and in the executive branch of government. But even more important is the appointment of men and women of whatever faith, who understand and respect the value of religious freedom. Otherwise, we will continually be forced out of the public square and marginalized into smaller and smaller spaces that Christians can live in.

Discrimination

Once you can make a caricature of a group and marginalize them, you can discriminate against them.

The biggest examples of that, from a legal point of view, are the recent cases before the Supreme Court of Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor. In both cases, the present administration forcefully sought to discriminate against persons who, because of religious belief, did not want to facilitate abortions. Those decisions hung by a slim thread in the Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby won by a 5-4 vote, and the Little Sisters of the Poor case was sent back down to the lower courts, in all likelihood, because a majority of opinion could not be reached on a divided 4-4 Court. The appointment of one more pro-abortion judge to the Supreme Court will result in a far different result. Are you concerned about that? Do you want Hobby Lobby owners (who are Assemblies of God members) to be forced to go out of business because of their commitment to Jesus or the Little Sisters of the Poor to disband and stop serving the poor because of their convictions on life?

Another example that is impacting Assemblies of God colleges and universities as well as all schools who are members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) is a recent change in the Department of Education (DOE). President Obama's DOE leadership was bothered that schools like our own are exempt from Title IX provisions that permit religious educational institutions to decline admittance to or retention of students on the basis of same-sex behavior or gender identity. The DOE headlined their policy change with the caption: "Hidden Discrimination." Every school that applies for the exception (even though a valid legal argument exists that an exemption to Title IX is provided to religious schools without their having to apply for the exemption) is then publicly listed. The intent is to shame these schools for being "discriminatory." In other words, Christian institutions are discriminated against because they hold to biblical teaching on sexual morality.

The discrimination plays out in different ways. For example, a Christian college president in the northeast co-signed a letter organized by a centrist group of religious leaders asking that a then-pending executive order by President Obama on LGBT rights leave schools like his in the same legal position as before. It was polite and gracious. The community in which the college was located became enraged that the college had that position. The local school board made a decision that it would no longer accept student teachers from that college, and various public facilities were denied for usage by the college.

Next on the horizon is the possibility that accrediting associations will determine that a school which has behavioral standards for students regarding same-sex or gender identity relationships is a school not worthy of accreditation, and/or that companies, school boards, and graduate schools will not admit or employ graduates of schools who "discriminate" on the basis of sexual orientation and identity. Schools will either be forced to accept standards imposed on them or go out of business.

Persecution

Step one: make a caricature of persons committed to scriptural teaching on morality. Step two: marginalize them. Step three: discriminate against them. Finally, the last stage: persecute them.

This is what is pending in the California legislature as I write—the outright persecution of Christian institutions by a state that says, "We will attempt to humiliate and marginalize you if you don't give in."

What's next? Unless present trends are reversed, I can envision a day not too far off in which faith-based parachurch educational and compassion institutions are forced to close if they retain biblical standards of sexual conduct for employment, or even requirements that employees, faculty, or students profess a Christian commitment.

The local church itself will be the last domino to fall in terms of persecution. Tax-exempt status may be lost. Ministers could lose the ministerial housing allowance. Donors may not be able to deduct charitable contributions. Churches which utilize their facilities for public events and compassion ministry, in addition to their times of worship, will be declared public places of accommodation and forced to provide marriage services to same-sex couples.

If you say, "Oh, that can never happen in America," then let me remind you that we never thought a day would come when the White House would be lit up with the rainbow flag to celebrate a decision by the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage.

I have never written anything like I am writing to you now. I realize that what I am writing paints a very dark picture. You are now asking yourself, but what can we do? Here are some suggestions:

Pray

There may be some who are cynical about a call to pray. But, we know the Lord hears the prayers of His people. Let's take to heart 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." We must pray for a third Great Awakening to come to America. Prayers of gratitude for the religious liberty we have enjoyed, and prayers of petition for its future protection should be an ongoing and regular part of our personal and corporate prayer life.

Engage

Use whatever means possible to exert your influence on our culture and political system. Be informed as a voter. Run as a candidate for office if you sense the Spirit asking that of you. Let your elected representatives hear from you on issues such as religious liberty protection.

It's also vital that we understand that we advocate religious liberty for others, not just ourselves. It is against our religion to impose our religion. When we find persons, organizations, or religious bodies who stand with us on the First Amendment protection of the free exercise of religion, then we welcome their advocacy alongside our own.

Of course, being engaged requires being informed; helping those who worship in our churches every week to understand the nature of the challenges we face, honestly but without overstating, is a critical first step. Had Christians across Missouri truly understood what was at stake in the religious liberty bill that failed in that state legislature earlier this year, the outcome may have been different. We must educate in order to inspire action.

Watch Your Spirit

There's a fascinating verse in Jude 9 that says, "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" In other words, Michael did not behave like the devil in fighting the devil. We must take to heart the admonition of the apostle Paul, "The Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome, but must be kind to everyone, ... Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 2:24–25). Let's be gracious as we take our stand on issues that concern us.

Do Good

The world may not agree with our beliefs, but they cannot deny when we do good. As individual believers and as a church together we must continue to serve others. We must be known as people of compassion and mercy. We are for the just treatment of others and we help the poor, the needy, the addicted, the wounded, the lonely, and the downtrodden.

Keep Doing the Main Things

Our first and foremost call is to preach and live the gospel. Let's keep the main things the plain things, and the plain things the main things. We must fulfill both the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-39). That's our priority! Let's never substitute evangelism and discipleship with political action. Let's keep eternal matters and temporal matters in perspective.

Our Battle Is Spiritual

God loved the world and so must we. We cannot give others any reason to identify us a "haters" or "bigots." The world will not be won by Christians who are shaking their fists at sinners. Something is a truism when it is true. This truism is true: "We must hate the sin and love the sinner." "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand" (Eph. 6:12–13).

Rejoice

Nothing happening has caught the Lord by surprise. He told us we would be persecuted because of our loyalty to Him. But, we are not to be angry about that or downcast. Instead, Jesus said: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matt. 5:10-12).

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you on this vital matter of religious liberty. In every dark time, believers have learned to say anew, "The Lord reigns!" {eoa}

George O. Wood is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God (USA) and chair of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship.

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 18 Nov 2016 16:00:00 -0500
Pastor Darrell Scott Says Donald Trump Could Become a 'Great President' http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27992-pastor-darrell-scott-says-donald-trump-could-become-a-great-president http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27992-pastor-darrell-scott-says-donald-trump-could-become-a-great-president

Pastor Darrell Scott knows Donald Trump up close and personal. On the eve of the election, he believes that the businessman-turned-presidential candidate will either win by a "nail biter" or by a "landslide." He believes that Donald Trump will not be just a good president, but a great president.

You have probably seen Pastor Scott either at the Republican National Convention, or appearing on national television. He is a very articulate spokesman for Christian values. I have come to admire him as a clear thinker, and the Lord is opening up incredible doors for him.  

He agreed to speak with me on the Charisma Podcast Network and told me that, behind the scenes, Donald Trump is very different from the public persona you often seen portrayed in the media. I found this to be true when I interviewed Donald Trump, although I do not know him well like Pastor Scott does.

I recorded a second podcast with Pastor Scott in which he gives insight into the turn of events since the Oct. 29 revelation by the FBI Director James Comey that he was reopening the probe into the email scandal for Hillary Clinton. In addition, WikiLeaks has released thousands of emails, many of which show that, behind the scenes, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party are as corrupt as Donald Trump has said they are.

I invite you to listen to both of these podcasts. I found Pastor Scott to be one of the interesting people I have ever interviewed and I think that you will too.  

You know I've endorsed Donald Trump for president. I plan to go to New York on Tuesday to attend his "victory party" and I'll look forward to reporting on what happened on election night.  

Please make sure to vote and to encourage your family and friends to do the same. And by all means, pray God's will be done on what many are calling the most important election of our lifetime. {eoa}

 
 
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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Mon, 07 Nov 2016 13:00:00 -0500
Lance Wallnau Sees a Spiritual Dimension to This Election and Believes Trump's Breakout is Nothing Short of Miraculous http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27989-lance-wallnau-sees-a-spiritual-dimension-to-this-election-and-believes-trump-s-breakout-is-nothing-short-of-miraculous http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27989-lance-wallnau-sees-a-spiritual-dimension-to-this-election-and-believes-trump-s-breakout-is-nothing-short-of-miraculous
There is a spiritual aspect to this election that many people don't see and the news media ignores. It seems like there is wall-to-wall coverage of every political speech and every revelation that comes from WikiLeaks, or speculation about the ongoing investigations of Hillary Clinton regarding her email server, or corruption in the Clinton Foundation.  

I urge you to listen to my podcast with Lance Wallnau, who has great insight about what is happening spiritually. As I reported before, and as you can read in the October issue of Charisma, he was one of the first, and perhaps the first, to say that God was raising Donald Trump like he did Cyrus in Isaiah 45. He recently wrote a book called God's Chaos Candidate, which you can buy at Amazon, or on Kindle, in which he says that Trump is "God's wrecking ball" of political correctness.   

Many Americans, both secular and Christian, have felt that America is going in the wrong direction. There seems to be a certain level of corruption in the entire system in both parties. Trump is the first politician to speak forcibly about this. With new revelations about the Clinton Foundation and "pay for play," many of the emails leaked from John Podesta, Clinton's campaign manager, revealed how the corrupt the system is.  

Listen to the podcast with Lance in which we discuss how God is bringing the hidden things to light just a few days before the election and how the momentum seems to be turning in Donald Trump's favor. Lance believes that there is witchcraft involved, along with a "spirit of Jezebel," and that God is responding to the prayers of the people by letting this come to light.  

In the podcast, I asked if there was so much corruption regarding "pay-for-play" when she was secretary of state, would she be able to do the same thing in the White House, or if she had the power to retaliate, as the Clintons have been known to do, against her political enemies?

Clearly, America is at a pivotal point. I believe that most believers and most of my readers are supporting Trump. They see that he is a strong leader even if he's not perfect and even as he's made mistake after mistake during the campaign—many of them due to his naivete as a first-time politician. That alone puts him in a unique position to clean up the system because he has not been part of the system and he is not beholden to anyone. He can, as he promises to cheering crowds, "drain the swamp," when it comes to this election.

I believe Trump will win. I believe that many people who may not like him, or would normally vote Democratic (no matter who's running) don't want the Clinton corruption in the White House. The "pundits" on the network news have been saying throughout the campaign that Hillary will win in a landslide. Now they are saying "the polls are tightening." I believe they will be surprised on election night when the American people overwhelmingly back Trump.  

Please listen to the podcast. Lance is one of the most interesting people I've interviewed in a long time. Share the podcast and share this newsletter with your friends. Be sure to vote and also encourage everyone in your circle of influence to vote and to volunteer to drive people to polls if they need a ride. Do what you can to get out the message that God is giving us another chance to right the situation in America.  

We know that no politician has all the answers. We know that the kingdom of God is not going to fly in on Air Force One, as a Christian leader was known to quip. But we also know God establishes leaders so that there could be righteousness in the land and so we can live quiet and peaceful lives.

There is only a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I personally see God's hand on this election. Although Trump would not have been my first choice—and I'll confess there are many things revealed about him in this campaign I don't personally approve of—I believe God has raised up Donald Trump.  

I see that he is a strong leader. He values Christian counsel. He is standing for positions of righteousness—all things that we have spelled out before. Now it is time to exercise our rights as American citizens and vote. Let's also exercise our spiritual responsibility to pray, to pull down principalities and powers, and to believe God for a change in the direction of this nation.{eoa}

 
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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 04 Nov 2016 21:10:00 -0400
How a Young Man Was Delivered From the Occult and Witchcraft—All Because a Junior High Girl Prayed http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27947-how-god-delivered-a-young-man-from-satanism-all-because-a-high-school-girl-prayed http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27947-how-god-delivered-a-young-man-from-satanism-all-because-a-high-school-girl-prayed

On Halloween, when people glorify the dark side, it's great to share the story of a young man who was rescued from Satanism. His name is Heath Adamson.

In high school, he was steeped in the occult and witchcraft. Yet he was wonderfully saved, and today he is a dynamic youth leader, speaking face to face to more than 500,000 each year.

Recently I interviewed him for a podcast, which you can listen to here. Heath doesn't like to glorify the very dark road he traveled. He simply tells his story: how a young schoolmate lived an exemplary Christian life, prayed for him and how he was gloriously saved several years later.

In my nearly 50 years as a journalist (going back to high school), I've heard many incredible stories, but Heath's is one of the most spectacular. I know him as the national youth director of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri. I was surprised when I learned of his background. He is a dynamic leader, and I would have never guessed of his background in drugs, steeped in the Satanic bible.

Heath's testimony centers on how the Lord told a young lady in the eighth grade that the Lord had a call on Heath's life. Heath had no background in the church. In fact, he's the first Christian in his family we know of. This schoolmate and her mother prayed for Heath.

Listen to the podcast to hear the "rest of the story."

If you are a parent who needs encouragement about your child, you will not want to miss this testimony. Never discount the power of prayer!{eoa} 

 
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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Mon, 31 Oct 2016 21:00:00 -0400
Don't Limit God in the Great Plans He Has for You http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27846-don-t-limit-god-in-the-great-plans-he-has-for-you http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27846-don-t-limit-god-in-the-great-plans-he-has-for-you

Andrew Wommack believes every one of us has plans from God that are bigger than what we're dreaming. Yet we limit God by our small thinking—often without realizing it.

When I heard Andrew say this in Colorado recently, it caused me to realize that I also limit God without realizing it. I asked him to record a podcast, to which you can listen below. He briefly tells how how God convicted him in 2002 because, like the children of Israel who "limited the Holy One of Israel" (Ps. 78:41), he was limiting God in own his life.

At that time, his ministry was "successful," sporting a staff of 24. But when he learned the meaning of meditating on God's Word day and night and when he understood that the word "meditate" also can be translated "imagination," Andrew began to believe God for bigger things and more impact. Today, he has 600 staff members and 70 Bible schools around the world, and he is building a beautiful campus for his Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, Colorado, which I visited recently.

He also wrote a book titled Don't Limit God (Harrison House), which I read last week and am reading a second time. While I've understood some of these concepts and have had to believe God for the media company we have today, I've been convicted in many ways that I limit God regarding what I believe He has planned for me and my organization in the future.

However, this message is not only about me or those in leadership who need to understand how not to limit God. Everyone needs to take the limits off God in what they are believing for their own family or church, or how they can be involved in their communities.

Listen to Andrew share his testimony in his own words in this podcast. If you like it, subscribe to my "Strang Report" to hear the several podcasts I post a week. Several recent podcasts have really taken off and we just passed the 100,000 mark in downloads. If you like the podcast, share it with friends and on social media. For more in-depth study, read Andrew's book Don't Limit God.

 
Subscribe to my podcast:
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And leave a message on my Facebook page on how you're not limiting God and how you are inspired by this message.

It's important to understand that we must "see" what God has for us before we can see it in the natural.

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drew.glaser@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang) The Strang Report Wed, 19 Oct 2016 19:00:00 -0400
Listen to Messianic Rabbi Charlie Kluge Explain the 8th Day of Sukkot and How it Relates to Jesus http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27883-listen-to-messianic-rabbi-charlie-kluge-explain-the-8th-day-of-sukkot-and-how-it-relates-to-jesus http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27883-listen-to-messianic-rabbi-charlie-kluge-explain-the-8th-day-of-sukkot-and-how-it-relates-to-jesus

Today is the end of the joyous Jewish celebration called Sukkot, which we call Feast of Tabernacles. I had the privilege of interview Messianic Rabbi Charlie Kluge of Gesher Shalom Synagogue in Orlando, the author of our new book called, The Tallit: Experience the Mysteries of the Prayer Shawl and Other Hidden Treasures.

 I urge you to listen to the podcast below. Rabbi Kluge is a wealth of information about how today (ending at sundown) is the eighth day of Sukkot—an extra day to spend time with God and to call a solemn assembly. The Jews call it Shimini Atzerit, which means eighth assembly.  

It also coincides with Simkatorah which is sometimes celebrated on the eighth day, and sometimes the ninth day. It is a joyful time of the ending of reading the Torah, and starting over in the new year to read the Torah passages again.

A couple of years ago, when I had attended The Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, I had the privilege of being at the Western Wall at sunup with more than 10,000 people, most of them Orthodox Jews who were celebrating Simkatorah. Rabbi Kluge explained this much better than I can. I urge you to listen to him. Later, I am going to invite him back to do another podcast on the mysteries of his book, The Tallit.

Like me, I know many of my readers are interested in learning more about our Jewish roots, and to understand and enjoy the wonderful meanings in the Jewish holidays. If you know others who also enjoy this, be sure to forward this and encourage them to listen. If you don't already subscribe to my podcast, or "like me" on Facebook, please take time to do so today.

 
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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:00:00 -0400
Here Is Help for Bringing Spiritual Renewal to Your Church http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27800-here-is-help-for-bringing-spiritual-renewal-to-your-church http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27800-here-is-help-for-bringing-spiritual-renewal-to-your-church

Starting with a word of prophecy, Reverend Charlie Holt has changed how he does church at St. Peter's Episcopal in Lake Mary, Florida by aligning his message around God's heart for the church. It's a message that could bring renewal to your church, too. 

I've known Father Holt for many years because his fast-growing church is only a block from our Charisma Media corporate headquarters. I was excited when I learned about his new venture called The Christian Life Trilogy. As I learned more about it, I invited him to record a podcast. You can hear him tell in his own words how this three-part study series, complete with DVDs and workbook, is transforming hearts and churches around the country.  

The prophetic word came from a woman at a conference with Francis and Judith MacNutt in Jacksonville, Florida, that "the Lord wants to renew the heart of your church around His heart and begin with your heart." With that, she pointed her finger at his chest. In the next year, Father Holt experienced a deepening of his relationship with the Lord and began the study that ended in this three-part series that he calls the heart of the gospel.  

Many churches use it around the calendar of the church. The first part of the series is on the crucified life and dying to self, and centers on the seven last words of Jesus on the cross. This fits in with the weeks leading up to Easter, a time called Lent. 

With Easter comes the second section, focusing on the resurrected life, beholding that all things are new and finding out who we are in Christ.  

The third study, tied into the Day of Pentecost, is on life in the Spirit and finding out about the fullness of living with His presence and power in our lives.  

Father Holt told me of reports of churches and lives that have been transformed from this series. While it is designed for a small group setting, individuals can go through the series themselves.  

You can find out more about The Christian Life Trilogy online at ChristianLifeTrilogy.com. There are free training materials, including seven sessions telling how to implement this in the life of your church.  

Because I know Father Charlie Holt personally, have witnessed his life, know his family and have attended services at his church, I can vouch for him personally, spiritually and professionally. I give this the highest recommendation.  

However, don't take my word for it. Listen to podcast, research the materials and decide for yourself. If you know of people or churches that need renewal, feel free to share this newsletter with them either via email or social media.

As a a way of saying thank you, Rev. Holt is offering Charisma Media readers and listeners 20 percent off any order simply by using the coupon code: charisma. You can order here.

America and the church need a Great Awakening. I believe that it starts with churches that are renewed and living the heart of the gospel as represented in the cross, the resurrection and life in the Spirit. 

What a great way to introduce this to your own church or to utilize in your own life. {eoa} 

As a way of saying thank you Rev. Holt is offering  Charisma Media readers and listeners 20% off any order simply by using the coupon code:charisma.

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Wed, 12 Oct 2016 20:00:00 -0400
Lance Wallnau Is on Fire and on Target With His Insights on the Culture and This Election http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27824-friday-strang-report http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27824-friday-strang-report

Lance Wallnau is on fire when it comes to garnering social media attention. I know this because a podcast he did with me last spring about Donald Trump was listened to more than any other in the history of the Charisma Podcast Network.

He wrote the cover story for the October issue of Charisma about how he believes God is raising up Donald Trump like He did Cyrus in Isaiah 45. I did a podcast about that two weeks ago, which has become the second most listened to podcast I've done. If you missed it, you can listen to it here.

Today, Lance spoke at a conference in Orlando. It was powerful. Afterward, we got a bite to eat and he told me a video about Trump calling out "liberal" pharisaical evangelicals for blasting him for ungodly behavior 11 years ago, yet overlooking his repentance and also the corruption and the diabolical agenda of the Hillary Clinton campaign. In only a few days, it's been viewed more than 3.5 million times! You will want to watch it. In it he says God can use the jawbone of a donkey, but He can't use a Jezebel.

I'm sickened by the self-righteous, weak-kneed "evangelicals" who want to be liked by the culture they are trying to win so much that they compromise and actually play into the hands of the enemy. Later, I may call out some of them by name after I can research what they said and maybe confront them behind the scenes. They need to be exposed and they need to lose their influence and platforms after being revealed for who they really are.

After my last podcast with Lance, he and I kept talking as friends and what he was saying was so good I asked him if I could turn on the recorder to give "the rest of the story." You'll want to listen to that podcast here called "God is Raising Up Trump with Lance Wallnau Part 2" on the Charisma Podcast Network. Then share this newsletter with friends and on social media. 

In other newsletters, I've written about the article Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in San Diego wrote two months ago that we headlined: "If You're on the Fence About Your Vote, This Pastor Clarifies How the Very Future of America Is at Stake." Since then, it's gone viral, and today it passed the 3.5 million mark in terms of shares on Facebook.

Someone told me the article is like an apologetic for voting for Donald Trump when you don't like him as a person. A friend told me today she wasn't going to vote for Trump until she read the article. She realized this is not about personalities; it's about issues, and the platforms of the two parties are as different as night and day, especially from a biblical point of view.

In this podcast, Lance talks about how America cannot stand 48 months more months of the downward spiral this nation has been in for the past few decades—especially in the past eight years.

When we met today, we talked about a quick e-book Lance wrote called God's Chaos Candidate I ordered it today, and it's fascinating reading not only about Trump but also about the trends in our culture and the agenda of the progressive left. When I checked, it was No. 118 of all books amazon.com sells.

Please take advantage of these materials and help us get out the word. It's possible that this race will be so close that it will be determined by how Bible-believing Christians vote. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 14 Oct 2016 21:30:00 -0400
Why Christians Aren't Laughing at Lance Wallnau Saying God is Raising Up Donald Trump Like Cyrus in Isaiah 45 http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27727-why-christians-aren-t-laughing-at-lance-wallnau-saying-god-is-raising-up-donald-trump-like-cyrus-in-isaiah-45 http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27727-why-christians-aren-t-laughing-at-lance-wallnau-saying-god-is-raising-up-donald-trump-like-cyrus-in-isaiah-45

Lance Wallnau believes God is raising up Donald Trump like he did King Cyrus in Isaiah 45. When the charismatic speaker/business consultant first said this long before the billionaire businessman received the Republican nomination, nearly everyone thought he was nuts.

Now, Wallnau's analysis is ringing true with many Christians who are looking to make sense spiritually of this very strange election season.

Wallnau also believes God gives leaders "common grace" to be instruments of His purposes—ones like Lincoln or Churchill or Thatcher. In a recent podcast, Wallnau told me all this and more. You can listen to it here as well as a follow up podcast with Wallnau here.

I felt this message was so important that I asked Wallnau to write it and we published it in Charisma magazine in our October issue which has Donald Trump and Gov. Mike Pence on the cover. An early form of this article was published online in three installments and you can read them here and here and here.

Wallnau told me he had an impression when he first met Donald Trump early this year that there was an anointing on him. He didn't understand the impression since he preferred Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina. Then he saw a meme on Facebook showing Trump as the nation's 45th president. About the same time, he felt the Lord tell him to read Isaiah 45, which says King Cyrus who is called the Lord's "anointed" and later in the chapter says, "I have even called you by your name ... though you have not known Me."

Wallnau then told me he felt he heard the Lord tell him "common grace," and he found the term in a Charles Colson book. It was a term the Reformers used to contrast "saving grace," when there was a basic understanding of God that influenced governments and societies even though the people who had this common grace might not have experienced "saving grace."

I urge you to not only listen to the podcast (and share it with friends on social media) but to read the article in Charisma. The full issue is available digitally behind a paywall and you can access it here and learn how to subscribe.

Meanwhile Steve Shultz, founder of The Elijah List sent out an email about my podcast with Wallnau with this incredible subject line: "Wow: The Bible's 'Cyrus the Great' and 'Donald Trump'—Is This God?" Here, he encouraged his readers, as I am, to listen to the podcast, then he gave a detailed report on what Wallnau said. I found it interesting in how Shultz wrote it, and I end my report by quoting him:

Lance Wallnau shares in this podcast:

  • God anoints secular rulers in history for specific purposes in order to protect His interests.
  • This will amaze you! The three issues that Cyrus took the most satisfaction in:
  1. Dealing with terror
  2. Restoring the habitations or economic stability of their cities
  3. Honoring their sanctuaries or their houses of faith

The Cyrus cylinder (that was uncovered in an archaeological dig) talks about terrorism, economics and faith.

  • This election is so critical ... Lance says, "I don't know yet if the church is going to be as awakened as they need to be—to show up in the force they need to show up in to support what this man's (Donald Trump) capable of doing in restoration. Because 'if history tells us anything (it's this)—when God shows up He's 'disguised' and His people don't (always) recognize Him."
  • "Trump is like a wrecking ball."
  • Trump challenged this group of ministers (who met with him at Trump Tower) and said, "If you don't mind me saying so, I think you guys have gotten soft."

Lance went on to explain that Trump was looking at how fear and embarrassment are so often in ministry ... with the church backing up from issues.

  • Lance continued saying that Trump is like a wrecking ball going toward many controversial issues. And Trump's observation was, "I really think that America's turned against Christianity in the last decade in a way that's not healthy, and I think you guys have gotten soft in terms of taking your ground and holding it."

Only someone like Donald Trump, himself a brand-new Christian, could actually get away with saying that to the church leadership in America. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Wed, 05 Oct 2016 21:30:00 -0400
Dr. Alveda King Calls Out Hillary Clinton For Debate Remark http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27705-dr-alveda-king-calls-out-hillary-clinton-for-debate-remark http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27705-dr-alveda-king-calls-out-hillary-clinton-for-debate-remark

During Monday night's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said something Dr. Alveda King knew was wrong.

So the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of Atlanta sent this out on her Facebook page:

"Sec. Clinton said guns are the number one killer of African-Americans. No, abortion is. Don't support abortion, Sec. Clinton."

Within hours, the post had reached 249,725 people.

I was in Atlanta the next day and visited Dr. King. When I learned of the huge response, I asked her to record a podcast, which you can listen to here.

Dr. King told me African-American babies make up one-third of the 60 million babies aborted since Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in 1973. She lamented the loss of lives and the fact that if each woman had not had the abortion, America would be better off economically and that we will never know of the inventions and cures those aborted babies would have made during their lifetime.

I asked her why so many responded. She said she believes Americans are becoming tired of abortion violence.

I asked how my listeners and readers can get involved. You'll want to hear her response in terms of becoming informed and voting for life.

One thing Dr. King said in our interview stands out to me. Dr. King pointed out that Hillary Clinton has praised Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who said "colored people are like weeds and they need to be exterminated." You won't hear the mainstream leftist media admit this horrible quote from Sanger. I'd admire Dr. King for her untiring efforts to preach pro-life through Priests for Life and in other ways.

Alveda-King-facebookNot only did the Facebook post from Dr. King take off, but the article Pastor Jim Garlow wrote online contrasting Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton continues to be well-shared. Originally posted on Aug. 11, the article "If You're on the Fence About Your Vote, This Pastor Clarifies How the Very Future of America Is at Stake" had already been shared nearly 1.2 million times by the time the debates took place. The number of shares had really slowed down.

However, in the three days since the debate, the shares have nearly doubled to about 2.1 million and growing several hundred thousand a day. If you haven't read the article, do so now and share it. We're not sure why it has taken off again other than the fact that interest in the election is white-hot as Nov. 8 approaches.

Dr. Steve Greene, publisher of Charisma Media Group, believes that Garlow's well-thought-out article is an apologetic for Donald Trump for those who have not made up their minds.We are receiving messages and emails from readers who say they now will vote for Donald Trump, whom I have endorsed for president.

Both candidates this year are unpopular. But no presidential candidate is perfect. I've come to admire Donald Trump as a strong leader who is right on most of the issues. I believe that despite whatever things he has said or mistakes he has made, they pale in comparison to the email scandal, the influence pedaling through the Clinton Foundation and the lies about Benghazi and many other things regarding Hillary Clinton.

In addition, Hillary's stand on abortion is that it should be legal up until the time of birth. So listen to Dr. King's podcast, read the article by Pastor Garlow and help us spread the word!

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:30:00 -0400
Thousands Rally to Pray for Donald Trump http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27668-thousands-rally-to-pray-for-donald-trump http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27668-thousands-rally-to-pray-for-donald-trump

On Saturday, I received a text from Frank Amedia saying he and other Christian leaders were calling for prayer for Donald Trump before the first debate on Monday. Even though it was short notice, I assigned an article to be written. As far as I knew, a call to prayer for a presidential debate was unprecedented.

We posted the article at 5 p.m. Sunday, barely 24 hours before the debate at Hofstra University in New York. I posted it on my public Facebook page. By the time I went to bed, it had 2,700 shares.

Clearly people believe we need to pray, and my inbox was full of messages of support. By the time the debate took place it had an amazing 34,000 shares and has continued to climb since the debate between Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. It has now reached more than 56,000 shares.

Amedia, the founder and director of Touch of Heaven Ministries in Canfield, Ohio, was one of the early supporters of Trump. He hosted a rally last Wednesday along with Rev. Darrell Scott at Scott's New Spirit Revival Center church in Cleveland, Ohio. At the end of the rally, he led a prayer binding and loosing over Trump and vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence from Indiana. Watch here to see how respectful they were as others laid hands on them and prayed.

Charismatics and Pentecostals aren't usually visible in politics. If they pray it's behind closed doors out of sight of the media and the public who often don't understand or appreciate how we pray or how we understand the spiritual realm. Yet there are those like Amedia and Scott who feel what is happening in our nation is result of spiritual warfare and the time to be passive or secretive is over. It may make some of Trump's handlers uneasy if they aren't familiar with Pentecostal-style worship, but Trump seems to appreciate it.

Of course, there are so-called evangelicals who are liberal and support Clinton in spite of her policies and beliefs that run counter to what we believe. A number of them wrote nasty things on my public Facebook page.

But I was encouraged by how many feel the need to pray.

The election was one of the topics I discussed Monday with Jim Bakker when I was a guest on his program. We talked about the October issue of Charisma, in which I endorse Trump for president and included powerful articles by Pastor Jim Garlow and Lance Wallnau that we've featured online. (That episode of The Jim Bakker Show will air next week.) If you missed the Charisma issue, click here to subscribe.

Monday I was glued to the TV as I watched the pre-debate discussion, the debate itself and the post-debate analysis. To me, neither candidate made any big mistakes and each scored points. Of course, Trump missed opportunities to drill home about the problems with influence peddling and the Clinton Foundation as well as about Benghazi and the email scandal. But there are two more debates and plenty of time to make his case.

Meanwhile, Amedia is continuing the prayer effort with a "24-7 to heaven" prayer website. 

"We will be posting prayer points and will keep this momentum going," he told me. "Many networks are affirming—providing prayer points and sending out information. You can stay connected to the Prayer Watch on revivalone.org. Also, we estimate the total outreach has touched 100,000-plus, taking into account the multitude of ministries and networks. Our goal is to grow the Watch to 200,000 by the second debate."

We will continue to cover this prayer movement. I urge you to share this article on social media and to check out the website when it's ready as a way to be involved. 

And be sure to pray. This is a critical time for our nation. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Tue, 27 Sep 2016 20:50:00 -0400
Respected Assemblies of God Leader's Essential Secret to Success http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27648-strang-report-charles-kelly http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27648-strang-report-charles-kelly

Leaders must be continual learners. That is the message from Dr. Charles Kelly, who visited my office recently. I interviewed him for a podcast for the Strang Report. What he shared was so good I wanted to highlight the podcast and share his concepts here.

I've known Dr. Kelly for many years. He's widely respected in the Assemblies of God. He served in administrative roles in the North Carolina District of the Assemblies of God, and during his tenure, the district grew from 90 churches to 310. He also served as the chairman of the board for Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, which is where I first met him.  

Dr. Kelly is working on a book, and he visited Charisma Media headquarters to talk to Creation House Publisher Dr. Steve Greene about working with our company. When I found out about his book and the concepts, I was excited.  

He has the idea that leaders need "white space," which is another way of saying boundaries, and the fact that in that white space is the leader's own time for himself. Those closest to that leader should not let others interfere.    

I also asked him about which books have influenced him. One of them is by J. Oswald Sanders, and you'll be interested to read some of the concepts that he shares.  

I encourage you to tune in and listen to the podcast, and to subscribe if you haven't already. Please share it and Dr. Kelly's concepts on social media and with friends.

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 23 Sep 2016 21:00:00 -0400
CBN's New 'SuperBook' Sparks Salvation Through Animation for Thousands http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27616-cbn-s-new-superbook-sparks-salvation-through-animation-for-thousands http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27616-cbn-s-new-superbook-sparks-salvation-through-animation-for-thousands

One of the most exciting partnerships we've done lately is working with CBN on a brand-new version of SuperBook. My sons grew up watching the animated stories about the Bible originally done in 1983. Now CBN has updated them and they are being distributed on television around the world, especially in Southeast Asia.

Recently, Gordon Robertson was in our offices with some of his staff to discuss SuperBook because we are distributing the videos in the retail trade. While CBN could fulfill videos to its partners, it recognized it did not have the expertise to do it at the retail level. Our Charisma House team was able to get it into Family Christian stores and in many other Christian stores, as well as on amazon.com, CBD.com and other internet retailers.

When I have leaders visiting the office, I like to record a podcast for my "Strang Report." It was fun to interview Gordon, who has much more broadcast experience than me, about this project and to learn more about the background of SuperBook. He tells how people can learn the plan of salvation through animation, especially in nations that know little or nothing about the gospel. It's also great for discipling people.

steve-gordon-studioYou'll enjoy hearing Gordon and me talk about how children learn from SuperBook and even start Bible studies, along with other interesting stories.

So listen to the podcast and then subscribe to hear other podcasts.

Gordon tells how to get the free SuperBook Bible App available on Kindle, the Google store, i-Tunes and other platforms. You'll get the first 13 episodes and a lot of other things.

And, if you'd like to have the episodes on DVD to have at home to play again and again for your children or grandchildren, you can buy them wherever Christian videos are sold or online. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Tue, 20 Sep 2016 21:40:00 -0400
Why Has Jim Garlow's Article Contrasting Trump and Hillary Been Shared a Million Times? http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27461-why-has-jim-garlow-s-article-contrasting-trump-and-hillary-been-shared-a-million-times http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/27461-why-has-jim-garlow-s-article-contrasting-trump-and-hillary-been-shared-a-million-times

In early August, someone on Facebook asked Jim Garlow "the question" on how to vote. The person didn't like either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. When the San Diego pastor's Facebook reply was widely shared, Garlow decided to send it to a handful of friends, including me.

When my wife, Joy, saw it, she said it was a message we had to get out, so I asked Garlow to write something for our charismacaucus.com website. It was expected to pass a million shares today, thanks to many of you who sent it out on social media and via email to your friends.

That's because we knew many Christians wouldn't vote for Hillary's left wing pro-abortion and pro-gay agenda. But they had a bad opinion of Donald Trump, too. It looked like many Bible-believing Christians would sit out this election rather than vote for someone they didn't like.

What Garlow wrote hit a cord. As you can read below, he implores you to, if for no other reason, vote for Trump because the Republican platform is so much better than the Democratic. And, he says that for Trumps problems and the fact there are unknowns about how he would govern, it is better than what we know about Hillary's "knowns" of her platform as well as the the many scandals and Benghazi, etc.

In less than three weeks, the story has become the third most popular article we've ever published online. The second most popular is titled, "50 Reasons Why I Don't Drink," and was shared 1.1 million times, and Lee Grady's "10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry" was shared more than two million times and is the most popular article ever on our site. If Garlow's article keeps the same pace, it will surpass that by the election.

Today we posted Garlow's article in Spanish. If you know someone who needs to read it in Spanish, please share it.

If You're On the Fence About Your Vote, This Pastor Clarifies How the Very Future of America is at Stake

Donald-Trump-Vs-Hillary-Clinton-Composite.jpg

By Jim Garlow

I have been asked "the question" so many times regarding Trump or Hillary. By way of background, I have followed every national convention—Republican and Democrat—from the time I was age 9, and have attended most of the GOP Conventions from 1984 to the present. I have watched the news virtually every day from the age of 8. I have never seen anything like what we are observing.

In spite of the unprecedented nature of this election cycle, I will attempt to respond to "the question." I am not demanding that anyone else share my view. But I was asked. Here is my best attempt to answer as I am able to see things at this time:

1. The Democratic and Republican party platforms are as different as night and day, in my opinion, as far apart as evil vs. good. The 51-page Democratic platform is the most leftist ever. (I don't care for the "right vs. left" nomenclature. I am far more concerned with "right vs. wrong.") The Democratic platform contains many points which are anti-biblical. (Time does not permit me here to identify what is meant by "anti-biblical," which is covered in my new book, Well Versed: Biblical Answers to Today's Tough Issues.) It is thoroughly ... 

Read More 

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:40:00 -0400