The Strang Report http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report Sat, 28 May 2016 07:09:12 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Trump Shows Concern for Latinos, Religious Liberty http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26504-trump-shows-concern-for-latinos-religious-liberty http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26504-trump-shows-concern-for-latinos-religious-liberty

Last week, Time magazine reported on a private meeting between the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and five Christian leaders. The same day, two of the five attended the same board meeting of Hispanic leaders and told me first hand they believe Trump is softening on some points.

I knew we had to get the story online. Taylor Berglund worked with me on the story about the meeting that had been set up by Frank Amedia, a pro-Israel pastor from Ohio who believes the Lord showed him last summer, when there were 17 Republican candidates, that Trump would be the nominee.

Later, I recorded a podcast with Amedia whom I have known 10 years. This podcast will air next week on the Charisma Podcast Network.

I also interviewed Mario Bramnick, who attended the Trump Tower meeting as a representative for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). NHCLC, the largest Hispanic Christian evangelical organization in America, is led by popular pastor Samuel Rodriguez Jr.

Bramnick was joined in the meeting by Sid Roth, Rick Joyner, Frank Amedia, Alex Nuñez and Darrell Scott.

My interview with Bramnick will also air next week on my Strang Report podcast.

What follows is the gist of our Charisma News article that I feel is important enough to share here with the readers of The Strang Report. Apparently there's a lot of interest in Trump. My interview with Lance Wallnau asking if the Lord may be raising Trump as he did Cyrus was shared more than 22,000 times—which made it one of my three most-shared newsletters ever!

Last weekend at the NHCLC Latin Leaders Fest, Trump sent a video to woo their support. It was rather bland, but you can watch it here. (Hillary Clinton also sent a video that blasted Trump without naming him.)

Though Trump has reportedly not changed his mind regarding immigration, Bramnick told me Trump showed greater understanding for the plight of Latinos than he had in the past.

"I personally felt that I saw a different side of him from some of what has come forth in his statements previously," Bramnick said. "He seemed to understand the plight of the undocumented, the plight of the Latino here in America, and really showed a willingness to wanting to work with our community."

Bramnick said NHCLC and Trump actually agreed on many immigration-related issues: the importance of strong border security, comprehensive immigration reform and deportation for illegal immigrants with criminal records.

As president of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition, Bramnick was also encouraged by Trump's addition of a pro-Israel adviser, Jason Greenblatt, to his campaign. Trump also reportedly demonstrated genuine concern for the state of religious liberty.

"He told us in the meeting that he's very, very concerned that Christians are losing their rights in America, that we no longer can even speak or express what we believe," Bramnick said. "And he did say that if he becomes president, he's going to change things to make sure that we, as Christians, have our religious liberties restored. He said he's concerned about Christians and about Jews, and he wants to help."

Yet Bramnick said he was not endorsing any candidate at this time. Instead, he exhorted evangelicals to be prayerful and seek God's wisdom during this election cycle.

Bramnick said, "In our decision-making process—especially at such a critical crossroad in America—we need to see which candidate is most pro-life; which candidate is most pro-religious freedom; which candidate is most pro-traditional marriage; and, which candidate is most concerned about the immigrant and the stranger. We are in such a critical time. I don't think not voting is an option. We've got to be sober-minded. We can't be one issue-oriented.

"We need to cry out for our nation. We know the answer isn't coming from the Republican party or the Democratic party, but coming from the Lord. We all have expectations of great revival or a third great awakening, but we're in very difficult times. We've been called to be light, we've been called to be salt, and we are the ones by the Spirit first—not by power, not by might, but by God's Spirit—to cry out to God, to decree and declare, to bring our nation back to its original godly values."

Let me know what you think. Please share this here and on your social media channels. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 27 May 2016 16:30:00 -0400
How I Challenged Hispanic Leaders to Be Light In The Marketplace to Advance God's Kingdom http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26474-how-i-challenged-hispanic-leaders-to-be-light-in-the-marketplace-to-advance-god-s-kingdom http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26474-how-i-challenged-hispanic-leaders-to-be-light-in-the-marketplace-to-advance-god-s-kingdom

Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Latin Leaders Fest in Anaheim, California, led by my longtime friend Sam Rodriguez.

With a convention theme of "Be Light," I called the crowd of more than 1,000 to "be light in the marketplace" and to create wealth in order to advance the kingdom of God. I felt it was a vision the Lord wanted me to share, and Sam told me he felt it was prophetic.

I believe the NHCLC through Sam's leadership has a prophetic voice to our nation. Sam and the other leaders have stood strong in the face of increasing compromise in the church. They are bold in articulating biblical values, and the secular press, politicians and others seek them out and then listen to what they say. While I was there, Sam was interviewed by both CNN and Fox. And presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both sent short, rather bland videos that were shown before the service began, with careful attention not to seem to endorse one or the other!

Yet despite this influence and size, the Hispanic church is hampered in what they can accomplish by lack of money. Many of their 40,000 churches are small, and most of their constituents are about the same demographically as Hispanics around the nation. Not many are wealthy.

While there are many wonderful Hispanic leaders, the movement is often hampered by small-minded competitive leaders. For example, some Hispanics were making trouble for Rodriguez merely because he said on secular TV he didn't believe Donald Trump is a racist. They tried to twist that into an endorsement of Trump—which it was not.

I remembered hearing how Yonggi Cho, the Korean pastor who built the largest church in the world, was invited to Australia in the early 1980s. At the time, the Australian Pentecostals had small churches, and their pastors were discouraged. Cho challenged them to believe in God to use them, to build great churches and to impact Australia and the world. At the time, it seemed impossible. But a top Australian leader told me that something shifted after Cho's visit.

Today the Assemblies of God is exploding in Australia, and it is the largest Protestant denomination in that country. Plus, Hillsong in Sydney and Planetshakers in Melbourne—both Assemblies of God churches—are not only large but also have influence around the world!

So I boldly threw out the vision that if 1,000 members of the NHCLC could believe God to accumulate $1 million, that would be an amazing $1 billion that could be used for God's kingdom.

I made it clear this is not the so-called "prosperity gospel," which is based on a faulty translation of 1 John 2. A more correct translation that does not even use the word "prosper" is in the Modern English Version: "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, even as your soul is well."

Many preach that you give to the Lord in order to "get" prosperity.

Instead, I suggested "getting" (creating wealth) in order to give!

Many Christians seem to believe money is the root of all evil. Actually, it's the love of money that's the root of all evil. Many poor people also "love" money even though they may not have any.

At the same time, businessmen like the late S. Truett Cathy, who founded Chick-fil-A, and David Green, who founded Hobby Lobby, are well-known for using their great wealth to help Christian causes. Most large ministries usually have some major donors behind the scenes who help them financially to accomplish their missions.

"Why can't that be done in the Hispanic church? Why do saints struggle? Why do many take handouts from the government? Instead, we should be the head and not the tail," I told the crowd.

"So I challenge you: Get a vision for what God can do in your life. Get a good education and move to positions of power and influence and good pay. Or start a business like I did. Meet a need. Work hard. Be frugal and save money. Invest it, and you can see it grow. If you work and save, you can build up assets."

I said more, of course, but I felt these points might inspire some of my readers. Do you agree with me? If this resonates with you, be sure to share this with friends.

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jessilyn.justice@gmail.com (Steve Strang) The Strang Report Tue, 24 May 2016 21:15:00 -0400
My Perspective on Empowered21 and What I Shared About the Marketplace in London http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26430-empowered21-speech-how-i-am-led-daily-by-the-holy-spirit-in-the-marketplace http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26430-empowered21-speech-how-i-am-led-daily-by-the-holy-spirit-in-the-marketplace

I have the privilege of sitting on the Global Council of Empowered21 (E21). It's a group that grew out of the Azusa Street Centennial in 2006. It is said more than 660 million people around the world have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

It is a very diverse group with many denominations and cultures. The thing they have in common is the belief in the power of the Holy Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Spirit are for today.

There was a feeling that there should be some leadership worldwide that would perhaps help get this message out to a new generation that is sometimes turned off by terms like Pentecostal, charismatic, Full Gospel or whatever people have used in the past. They decided to use the word empowered with the idea that we're empowered by the Spirit of God.

Leaders of Empowered 21 such as Dr. Billy Wilson and others articulated this great vision: that every person on Earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033.

In the natural, that's impossible. But I am inspired by a vision that big because we have a great God.

The E21 mission is to help shape the future of the global Spirit-empowered movement throughout the world by focusing on critical issues facing the movement and connecting generations for intergenerational blessing and impartation.

Other purposes are:

  • To unite the global Spirit-filled movement intergenerationally for the purpose of seeking a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the 21st century
  • To focus the energy and resources of the Spirit-empowered global church on the harvest and challenges before the church
  • To provide a platform for addressing the crucial issues facing the 21st-century Spirit-empowered church
  • To discover contemporary methods, vocabulary, spiritual grace and relational favor needed for engaging every generation and for Spirit-empowered living; and to witness greater convergence and collaboration of Spirit-empowered ministries around the world

For someone like me, this was a critical conference to attend. I was honored that they asked me to give an E-talk one afternoon on "Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit," which intrigued me because they asked me to discuss how it relates to the marketplace.

I shared the platform with two powerful preachers: Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of Los Angeles, California, and Pastor Lawrence Khong of Singapore. They preached inspiring messages about the power of the Holy Spirit, but only I related it to the workplace.

I recorded a podcast about my message, but I summarize it here:

I'm passionate about the Holy Spirit, and I've devoted my life to serving what many are calling the Spirit-empowered church.

I told the crowd that I lead a media company focused on ministering to the body of Christ and spreading the gospel. We are organized as a secular company. We pay taxes. But our real purpose is to minister to others through the media.

We're both a business and a ministry. I like to say we are 100 percent business and 100 percent ministry. That's not a contradiction because Jesus was 100 percent man and 100 percent God.

Yet as a believer baptized in the Holy Spirit, I must walk in the Spirit every day, not only in my personal life outside the office, but in my business life as well.

Here is how the Spirit leads me in the marketplace every day and how He can lead you too.

First, if the Spirit leads us, it will be obvious to others in how we treat each other, how we treat our work and how we seek Him.

And if the Spirit leads us, won't everyone notice His presence in how we do what we do?

A Spirit-led leader in the marketplace has his or her mind set on things above. He will declare openly, "There is nothing on earth I desire besides You" (Ps. 73:25, MEV).

It's not hard to stay in the flesh. It's hard to pursue peace and joy as primary kingdom sustenance (Rom. 14:17).

If I'm Spirit-led, shouldn't the gifts of the Spirit be operating in my life in the workplace too? The gifts aren't only for church. What about discerning of spirits? As a marketplace leader, I must discern what is of God and what isn't.

Then there's faith. The Holy Spirit gives each of us a measure of faith. I need faith to grow my business.

In fact, my organization and Charisma magazine would not exist if it weren't for faith. I had no money or experience. But I had a dream, and I believed God. My dream should have failed many times, but I kept believing God.

I spoke about how Kenneth Copeland influenced me early in my career. He told me faith is like a tool that a believer can use like a carpenter uses a hammer or a plumber uses a wrench.

I closed with this thought: "Life is tough. Business is tough. Many things want to bring us down. As Spirit-filled believers, we have a secret weapon—the power of the Holy Spirit! Why wouldn't we want to use it to overcome the enemy, to be empowered, to have power to live the Christian life before everyone in our lives, and to succeed in the marketplace?"

I was honored to be on the same platform at E21 with some of the best preachers the Pentecostal movement can offer. Host Pastor Bishop Francis, Dr. George Wood, Nicky Gumbel, Peter Wentz, Sam Rodriguez and Dr. Billy Wilson all delivered powerful messages. 

Listen here to the podcast I recorded to hear more detail on this recent great event in London.

As a member of the global congress, I've had the privilege of attending several of these meetings. Of course, Charisma magazine reports on them because this global movement of the Spirit-empowered church is who we serve—it's what we report on, and it's the reason we exist. I feel honored to be a part of this great movement and what God is doing in the world today.

Have you been inspired by what Empower21 is doing? You may want to make plans to attend the next regional meeting in Singapore in 2017 during the week of Pentecost. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 20 May 2016 16:00:00 -0400
My Remarks at a High Tea at the Ritz in London http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26364-my-remarks-at-a-high-tea-at-the-ritz-in-london http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26364-my-remarks-at-a-high-tea-at-the-ritz-in-london

So far, this has been a tremendous trip to London. As I wrote on Tuesday, I had the opportunity to present a copy of the Modern English Version to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Sunday via the Dean of Windsor, the Right Rev. David Conner, who she asked to receive it on her behalf.

One of the trip's highlights to me happened the next day, Monday. It was a high tea at the famous Ritz Hotel in London, hosted by my friends Martin and Shaneen Clarke. 

Martin is a successful London businessman, and his wife is a gifted speaker and philanthropist who ministers around the world.

Martin is so well known in the U.K.; he was the one who made connections that resulted in the Bible being presented to Queen Elizabeth. 

It was his idea to host a tea to celebrate the presentation at the Ritz. I'd heard of the hotel but had never been there. It exceeded expectations. It was elegant beyond description. The high tea itself was very formal with the little crustless sandwiches, creative tiny candies and cakes and, of course, English tea. 

The 40 guests were served in the ornate, completely mirrored Marie Antoinette room and entertained with a soprano and pianist. 

My part of the program was to give remarks about my personal connection to a famous English Bible translator named John Rogers, whom I've written about previously. 

On Monday, I told the guests what I've researched. John Rogers lived in the early 1500s and carried on the work of William Tyndale after he was burned at the stake in 1539. Rogers did so under the pseudonym Thomas Matthews, which had also been used by Tyndale. There were four editions, and it's also called both the Thomas Matthews Bible and sometimes the Tyndale-Matthews Bible. It was printed in Antwerp, Belgium, and I have a single page from the first and fourth editions framed as artwork in my office in Florida. 

In those days it was dangerous to translate the Bible. Like Tyndale, Rogers paid for it with his life. He was burned at the stake on Feb. 4, 1555, in Smithfield in London. To give perspective, that was 10 years before the Spanish founded St. Augustine, the oldest city in North America, and 65 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in the new colony of Massachusetts. 

This is significant to me because I believe I'm a direct descendant of John Rogers. I learned of this in 1994 when I attended my grandmother's funeral and met one of her cousins, the family historian, who gave me a copy of a typewritten family history. I read that my seventh great-grandfather, James Rogers, claimed to be the great-grandson of John Rogers the Martyr, but there was no proof. However, this family history said his children firmly believed the story to be true. 

I had never heard of John Rogers the Martyr. I researched him and learned what I am writing here. I accepted the family tradition to be true, thinking these people had no reason to lie in a private family history. 

As I researched John Rogers' life, I discovered he was in the original book, Foxe's Book of Martyrs. It said he had 10 children who, along with his wife, followed him to his death begging him to recant in order to save his life. His son, Bernard, my ancestor, was only 12 at the time. 

I told the gathering at the high tea about my passion for the Word of God and that it had been a dream of mine to publish the Bible. We had already published some specialty topical Bibles, using other translations, with names like the Holy Spirit Encounter Bible and the Spiritual Warfare Bible. 

Then, around 2009, we learned we could obtain the publishing rights to this new update of the King James Version—the translation with which I grew up. 

We thoroughly investigated this new translation, which was then called KJV2011. We leaned that the 47 translators had high credentials, yet they all shared a believing faith in Jesus. For their translation, they went back to the Ben Chayyim text in Hebrew and the Textus Receptus in Greek, which were the same documents used by the translators of the King James Version. They made a word-for-word translation as much as possible and tried to keep the King James wording and cadence where they felt the wording was still modern English. 

Remember that the King James Version was modern English for its day. Someone said if the King James Version was translated today it would be the Modern English Version!

My company, Charisma Media, did not do the translation. It was done by the Military Bible Association and was to have been distributed mainly through chaplains in the U.K. and America to servicemen and women. We discovered it was an unusually good translation at a time when many Christians were wanting a literal translation instead of some of the modern paraphrases (or thought-for-thought translations), which often interjected a certain amount of political correctness into the text and changed the meaning (no matter how slightly) of what the original text said. 

At the tea, I thanked not only the Clarkes but also their friend, Col. David Waddell, who I found to be a true English gentleman and who made the connection to the Dean of Windsor for us. I also thanked the Dean's personal secretary, Anna Leon, for handling the endless details to make this brief presentation at Windsor take place.

Later this week I will write about the Empowered21 event I'm attending here in England. 

You can also follow my trip on my Facebook page under my name, Steve Strang.

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Wed, 11 May 2016 15:00:00 -0400
How the Modern English Version Was Dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26352-how-the-modern-english-version-was-dedicated-to-queen-elizabeth-ii http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26352-how-the-modern-english-version-was-dedicated-to-queen-elizabeth-ii

Publishing the Modern English Version of the Bible is one of the great honors of my life. 

The translators of the MEV updated the King James Version, which was dedicated to King James in 1611 because he authorized that translation. In the same tradition in 2014, the MEV translators dedicated the new translation "to Her Majesty Elizabeth II by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories, Queen, head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. The translators of the Bible wish grace, mercy and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Isn't that beautiful wording? It's at the very front of the translation. 

Of course, there was one huge difference. Unlike King James who authorized the translation, Queen Elizabeth knew nothing of the Modern English Version when it was in preparation, but graciously accepted the dedication when she was formally approached. Her Majesty also kindly accepted the presentation of a special Royal Edition of the MEV and we were asked to attend a special service last Sunday, May 8, at Windsor Castle in St. George's Chapel. 

After nearly a year in planning, the day finally arrived. We had prepared a special copy of the Bible for Her Majesty with her royal crest. We know that she will see this new version since the Dean of Windsor, who is also her Domestic Chaplain, undertook to give it to her personally in the following week. Her Majesty is, of course, known to be a spiritual woman. 

We hope by this dedication we honor her as she celebrates her 90th birthday. And we hope it draws attention to the importance of Scripture and how it must be understood in each generation in contemporary language. 

We were advised that at age 90, the Queen, quite understandably, was seeking to reduce her very heavy schedule of public engagements. Her Majesty therefore proposed that the Dean of Windsor the Right Rev. David Conner, might accept the special copy on her behalf. 

It took place at a very traditional high church Anglican service called Evensong. There were prayers, Scriptures and songs by a traditional choir. 

Then there were readings and prayers for the Modern English Version. The event was quiet, dignified and understated in the best Royal  British manner. For example, no photos or videos of the service in the Royal Chapel, since it is also a Royal burial site, were appropriate but numerous photographs in the cloisters and historic castle were taken to mark the event after the service.

However, my British friends who helped set it up—businessman Martin Clarke and retired British Col David Waddell—assured me that presenting it to the Dean of Windsor was tantamount to presenting it to the Queen herself. 

At Windsor, everywhere we turned, we heard stories about history. Even the room where a reception was held after the presentation was historic. In that room 630 years ago this week, the Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England was signed. 

That's more than 100 years before Columbus discovered America, so it was difficult for me to comprehend the historical significance of all this. 

This is an event I'll remember all my life. There's more to the story that I will write about in a special Strang Report tomorrow. Plus, I will tell the story of my connection to a famous English Bible translator. 

Later in the week, I'll write about Empowered21, a worldwide movement of Pentecostals and others who believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. It begins Wednesday, and I'm on the program to speak on Friday. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Tue, 10 May 2016 16:00:00 -0400
'The Armageddon Code': Is the Fulfillment of Prophecy of the Second Coming Imminent? http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26280-the-armageddon-code-is-the-fulfillment-of-prophecy-of-the-second-coming-imminent http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26280-the-armageddon-code-is-the-fulfillment-of-prophecy-of-the-second-coming-imminent

With impactful events taking place in the world these days, there seems to be a sense among many that something big is about to happen. The Middle East especially continues to be hotbed of activity, dating back to nearly 70 years ago when Israel became a nation. The last couple of years have seen the significant rise of the terrorist group ISIS in Syria.

Is it possible that these events are a setup for the prophecies spoken about in the Bible that we refer to as the "Second Coming?"

I grew up in the church with the teaching that the church would be raptured before the Second Coming. As teenager, I began to learn that many other Christians believed other theories about the Second Coming. It seems that, as time has passed, things have become more confused, especially when theologians and pastors talk about events and entities such as the Great Tribulation, the Millennium, the Antichrist, the mark of the Beast and the rapture itself—whether or not it is going to happen before or after the tribulation, or perhaps midway through.

To grapple with these topics, Charisma House released a new book this week called The Armageddon Code by New York City journalist Billy Hallowell, the faith and religion editor for The Blaze. He takes an arm's-length view of the various views of the Second Coming. He tries to explain these views to people who are usually confused by all the contradictions. The book also presents some research showing what Protestant ministers believe about the Second Coming. The results were surprising.

I had the privilege of interviewing Billy Hallowell on The Strang Report podcast, which will be online in a few days. We talked about how the book is being released this week in what they call "a thunder clap," in which 136 people sent out information about the book at the same time to a combined total of more than 2 million people. It helps to draw attention to this important book.

We also talked about the study conducted by Lifeway Research in which 1,000 pastors, drawn randomly from the population, revealed what they believe. The greatest group—36 percent—believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. The next largest group—25 percent—believe that the rapture is not be taken literally. Most of these pastors come from what we would call more liberal segments of the church. Interestingly, 73 percent of Pentecostal pastors believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Yet I remember when I was a child nearly all Pentecostals would have believed it.

One chapter of the book deals with questions surrounding the Antichrist:

  • Exactly who is he and what will his personality be like?
  • Where will he come from?
  • When will he arrive on the scene?:

Interest in the end times is at an all-time high. But what does the Bible really say about what will happen and when? Why are there so many different viewpoints among Christians, and are any of them right? With questions like these, it's no wonder that the subject of the end times creates confusion, doubt and anxiety for many people today.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Armageddon Code wherever Christian books are sold or online. There is so much more information that I can go into in this short newsletter, but click here to order the book or find out more information about it.

Hallowell also interviews "experts" on end-time prophecy and what they believe. He conducted interviews with Greg Laurie, Tim LaHaye, Joel C. Rosenberg and even Hank Hanegraaff on what they believe. He lays it all out for the readers and allows the readers to decide for themselves.

I am finding the book fascinating reading, the topic is fascinating, and I encourage you to let me know what you think about end-time prophecy by leaving your comments below. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Wed, 04 May 2016 19:45:00 -0400
Will God Now Use Donald Trump for His Plans and Purposes? http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26330-will-god-now-use-donald-trump-for-his-plans-and-purposes http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26330-will-god-now-use-donald-trump-for-his-plans-and-purposes

With Ted Cruz dropping out of the presidential race this week, I now shift my loyalty and support to Donald Trump. As I wrote about the election, over time, I was always careful to mention the things that I liked about Donald Trump. There is no need for me here to re-articulate some of my concerns.

I was fascinated to talk to Lance Wallnau, a respected Charismatic minister, who believes that God is raising up Donald Trump in the same way the he raised up Cyrus in Isaiah 45:4-5.

"For Jacob My servant's sake and Israel My chosen one, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. I am the Lord and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I strengthen you, though you have not known Me ..." (MEV).

What a concept! We know our nation is in a very critical situation. We know that God has raised up leaders in the past. In fact, I feel this is so important I interviewed Lance for an edition of The Strang Report on the Charisma Podcast Network. He reminded me that Abraham Lincoln was no darling of the Conservative Christians of the time. In the day of Charles Finney, when there were many devout Christians in America, Abraham Lincoln did not even proclaim to belong to any specific denomination. Yet, he was a God-fearing man and frequently quoted the Bible in public speeches during his presidency.

In the darkest days of World War II, England chose Winston Churchill, who was a profane drinker.

"In their period of time, neither Winston Churchill nor Abraham Lincoln were the darling of revivalists or evangelicals," Wallnau said in our interview. "Churchill was a bloviating, cigar-smoking politician whose opinions were frequently offensive and whose judgment was faulty. Looking back at history, he was the Cyrus for Great Britain that defeated the Nazi spirit in Adolf Hitler. ... With Lincoln, here's a man that wouldn't even identify himself as a pew-sitting believer; unthinkable. But, he became the most Bible-quoting man in office."

This is an interesting and somewhat confusing electoral season. I investigated all the Republican candidates and decided that Ted Cruz best represented what I believed. He is a principled conservative. Obviously, many people agreed with me because he ended up being the only one who gave Trump a serious run for the nomination. But, Cruz has bowed out and it is clear that the only two choices we have are Trump and Hillary Clinton, whom Wallnau reminds us represents a system that is taking the country down the wrong path.

Wallnau says we should not judge Donald Trump by his past behavior.

"You have to look at Trump by the phases of his life," Wallnau says. "... He is cleaning up his act. ... People can look at his whole history, but I certainly don't want somebody judging me by who I was 10 years ago. I've grown up a lot since then. I see Trump not in terms of his three marriages or his casinos. I see him in terms of his work ethic. He's driven by ambition to make something better. Most people miss this, but his kids adore him. How many Christians can be scrutinized by their kids' opinion of them and by their work ethic? These are the aspects of Trump's personality that make him a candidate that we should be looking at through a different lens instead of his casinos and his marriages."

I urge you to listen to the podcast where Lance shares this in his own words and, also, to check out his website which is LanceWallnau.com/Trump for more information.  

Do you agree that Donald Trump is like Cyrus? {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Fri, 06 May 2016 15:00:00 -0400
Look at What's Happening Spiritually in England http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26222-look-at-what-s-happening-spiritually-in-england http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26222-look-at-what-s-happening-spiritually-in-england

Part of my role as a Christian journalist the last four decades is to cover what the Holy Spirit is doing around the world. We've had many reports on revivals in different parts of the world. One part of the world where there seems to be little activity is Europe. However, a recent guest from England says there are hopeful signs!

His name is Steven Halford from Portsmouth, England. He is married to an American, has lived in America for many years and has worked in various charismatic ministries on both sides of the ocean for a number of years. He also has a passion for evangelism and is gifted in preaching on the streets and winning people to Jesus.  

When he spent time in our offices recently, I recorded a podcast with him on the Charisma Podcast Network, which will air next week. I am interested in what is happening in England because I am going there in a couple of weeks to attend Empowered21 in London. I'll be speaking there and will be involved in some other interesting activities, which I will report later.

Steven reports that Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican church that has been connected with the renewal for more than two decades, is having enormous impact. His own mother accepted Christ through their Alpha Program, which was developed there and spread worldwide. I attended services there once and hope to again on Mother's Day.  

The Elim denomination, which celebrated its centennial last year, is also growing. The leading church there is Kensington Temple, and I have attended several times when I've been in England. Elim has been able to embrace each move of the Spirit over the decades and has a vibrant freshness.    

One of the most hopeful signs is what is beginning to happen in the Church of England, the official church of which Queen Elizabeth II is the titular head. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is a Spirit-filled Christian who speaks in tongues. Steven told me that recently he gave an altar call and prayed for each person who came forward for the baptism of Holy Spirit. This is virtually unheard of.

His predecessor was said merely to preach on intellectual subjects from books he read and never from the Bible. He also had himself ordained not only as an Anglican priest but also as a Druid. Can you imagine the head of the Anglican Church cooperating with a pagan religion?

There are of course negative trends in the Anglican Church, including some embracing gay marriage and many churches drying up. But there is also a lot of excitement and a new freshness in that historic denomination.

One of the things that's happening is the "tent on the green" for three days in mid-May on the grounds in front of Winchester Cathedral, the historic seat of government in England during the days of Alfred the Great. The Anglican Church is cooperating with modern "charismatics" for three days of prayer and praise as well as evangelistic outreaches. When I discovered I would be there during that time, I decided I wanted to attend, and I will be reporting on it.    

I am also looking forward to Empowered21, where some of the best Pentecostal preachers will be ministering. I am giving a seminar with Bishop Ken Ulmer of Los Angeles and Pastor Lawrence Khong. It is an honor to be invited to speak, and I will report on that as well.  

Each generation must believe God for revival in their generation. While times do seem bleak, this is not the first generation to face these circumstances. Other generations have believed God and seen great things happen. I am encouraged by the report of my friend Steven Halford that the stirrings of revival are taking place in many parts of "the mother country." I encourage you to subscribe to my "Strang Report" podcast and then you can hear my interview with Steven when it is posted next week. {eoa}

What do you think about this report? Are you aware of other examples? Send this to your friends in England and ask them to participate in our dialogue on charismamag.com.

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang) The Strang Report Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:00:00 -0400
A Medical Doctor Gives Reasons Why the Christian Faith Makes You Healthier http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26168-a-medical-doctor-gives-reasons-why-the-christian-faith-makes-you-healthier http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26168-a-medical-doctor-gives-reasons-why-the-christian-faith-makes-you-healthier

Active Christians enjoy better health! That's the conclusion of a French medical doctor in his new book, The Faith Link.

He is Max Fleury, a medical doctor with a private practice in Orleans, France. He has been a charismatic believer for about 30 years who previously served in a pastoral role. Dr. Fleury, whom I wrote about last week, also has been a medical journalist, appearing frequently on television.  

When I was in France 18 months ago, Dr. Fleury told me about the book, and I took a little video, which you can see here. He lays out the case that there is scientific evidence that things happen in the brain when people pray, or are prayed for. As I wrote in my last The Strang Report, he shows how science often backs up the Bible, most times citing the specific studies conducted by secular institutions and often by people who are not believers.

But much of the book is about how Christians enjoy—or should enjoy—better health in the first place!

Dr. Fleury points out that Christians tend to have better habits, such as not smoking or drinking to excess and not having risky sexual encounters outside marriage.

Their faith also causes Christians to have what he calls "faith virtues," such as being hopeful, being thankful, being spiritually active and having intimacy with God. All these things tend to reduce stress, which prevents many medical maladies.

In addition, being part of a faith community helps promote a stress-free life and a more healthful life, Dr. Fleury says. This is especially true if someone is sick. If they are in a faith community—a church, Bible study or prayer group—it helps them recover more quickly.

Not all "faith" is equal, he says. If someone has what he calls "intrinsic faith" (being born again and Spirit filled), then there are built-in protections. He elaborated on this in a podcast I recorded recently. Click here to listen to it.

The global fitness and health industry generates more than $75 billion in revenue annually. The Bible teaches that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and you secure your trust in God for health and healing. This sums up Dr. Fleury's book. He says there is a direct connection between your health and your faith.  

One of the reasons he told me he wrote The Faith Link is to show that we don't just believe "for nothing" that God heals or that I believe God wants us to be well and be in good health even as our souls are well (3 John 1:2, MEV). "There is a rational basis for what we believe," Dr. Fleury says.

He ends the book writing about fasting and the health benefits. Fasting is not only for spiritual reasons, but he writes our bodies "are made for fasting"—adding that our bodies actually "need it." He believes that the body periodically needs a five-day semi-fast with only 700 calories per day. This helps the body to detox and actually builds the immune system, which helps with good health. He elaborates on this on my podcast.

There are many good parts of the book, but to me, this part was so eye-opening that it's worth the cost of the book and time to read it!

I sincerely believe you will benefit from this book. I encouraged you in my last newsletter to share this message on social media and to forward to others who you know are interested in health. I was encouraged that hundreds of you did just that, and many purchased the book.

The book is available where Christian books are sold. But to make it easy to respond to what you're reading here, we have prepared a special landing page with extra information and the opportunity to buy the book online from several retailers. Click here to buy the book.

Rarely have I believed in one of the books we've published as much as this one. Soon we'll begin putting some of Dr. Fleury's information on healing and healthy living on our health website at charismamag.com.

Of course, we all know Christians who don't enjoy good health. While many may not drink, they love to overeat or don't exercise. People will be people. But Dr. Fleury should encourage all of us that, as a group, he believes Christians are healthier—or can be healthier—because of their faith. I know you'll want to check out his amazing book to learn more. {eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Tue, 19 Apr 2016 21:30:00 -0400
Prophetic Prayer Warriors Hit the Streets of England With Miraculous Results http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26404-prophetic-prayer-warriors-hit-the-streets-of-england-with-miraculous-results http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/the-strang-report/26404-prophetic-prayer-warriors-hit-the-streets-of-england-with-miraculous-results

As I've reported before, I was in England last week and was able to take part in a wonderful three-day event attended by thousands called "Tent on the Green" in front of the historic Winchester Cathedral in Winchester, an hour or so outside London. It was a first of its kind of cooperation between Anglicans and charismatics. I saw dozens raise their hands for salvation. I experienced the power and presence of worship!

I had gone to participate while visiting friends, the Halfords, who pastor in Portsmouth and brought their entire church. In years past, I've been blessed when I've attended Christian events in the U.K., and this sounded fun. What I saw amazed me, and the journalist in me came out. I tracked down Steve Abley—the leader who had a dream last January that resulted in this event—and interviewed him for a podcast. This report came from that interview.

Like most of Europe, England is very secularized and largely hostile to the gospel. But in Winchester, I saw cooperation between different Christian groups. I saw spiritual hunger and sensed a purity of spirit on the part of the leaders who put it on. I saw it as a good sign of hope for spiritual awakening in the country that gave us Charles Wesley, the King James Version of the Bible, Charles Spurgeon and even the Welsh revival in nearby Wales.

To Abley's knowledge, a Christian festival of worship, evangelism, healing and the prophetic had never taken place in the heart of an English city like Winchester.

That's why Abley, Winchester director for Burn 24/7—a prophetic worshipping community that works to engage people of all faiths and backgrounds and introduce them to God—wasn't about to downplay a prophetic dream he had in January to put a Christian festival on at the Outer Close of Winchester Cathedral.

"The Lord spoke to me in this dream and said to put this event together, Tent on the Green," Abley said. "He said, 'Call Me to meet you, and I will meet you all there.' Considering the time constraints, I'd have to say what has taken place has been pretty miraculous. But we have an amazing team."

Abley estimates nearly 8,000 people attended the three-day event this past weekend, plus thousands of others who curiously walked past. He estimated from that crowd, between 180 and 200 people made a commitment to Christ during the festival.

Initially, Abley had hoped to put the festival together to celebrate Easter in 2017. Winchester Cathedral denied the request, but told Abley he and his team could hold the event instead on Pentecost Sunday weekend in 2016—this past weekend. That gave his team less than four months to organize the festival.

On Friday, Abley noticed hesitancy among passers-by to engage with festival workers, not knowing what to expect. But eventually curiosity—and perhaps the Holy Spirit—got the better of their fears.

"On the first day, the stigma of what people thought was Christianity was evident," Abley said. "People looked around, and I could tell they weren't really sure what was going on. They didn't know whether we were going to welcome them in or bash them on the head with a Bible and tell them that they are being judged.

"Of course, none of that last bit is the case. We love people for their sake and not ours. Throughout the weekend, I started to notice people's reactions as if they were to ask, 'This is the church? It's cool, and it's not hard.' If these people went away feeling loved, then fantastic. If they went away with a sense that the church isn't out to kill them and to tell them how wrong they are, and it takes away that stigma that someone else has put onto them, then fantastic. We didn't do that. The Holy Spirit did that. God doesn't need our help."

Those who made a commitment to Christ were also introduced to Burn 24/7's Buddies' program, a six-week discipleship course that helps new Christ followers "focus on their new identity" and eventually train them to connect with others.

Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester Cathedral, preached a gospel message during the weekend and encouraged the crowd to connect with God and others. Dakin spoke of his personal experiences with healing through prayer as well as the rich heritage of London and the United Kingdom.

"We prayed for our city and our nation, and to reclaim our heritage and move forward," Abley said.

Steve Lee, founder of Miracle Street ministry, also preached to the gathering crowds and asked for a response. He had a very effective illustrated sermon with three methods of execution—a guillotine, a hangman's noose and a cross—and told stories of the men who died on them and what resulted. At the end, I saw dozens of people raise their hands when he gave a call for salvation. I wondered how long it had been at Winchester Cathedral since that many people had given their lives to Christ.

On Sunday evening, Winchester Cathedral hosted a national prayer-and-worship event called "Thy Kingdom Come." Sunday evening, Christian singer and songwriter Matt Redman led the worship service. Through live links to other cathedrals around England, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby prayed for and addressed the nation.  

I had to return to London to prepare for my long trip home, so I missed the evening service. I would have loved to stay. I came home encouraged by what I heard and saw, and I hope you are too.

If you subscribe to my Strang Report podcast, later in the week you will be able to hear my entire interview with Steve Abley.{eoa}

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shawn.akers@charismamedia.com (Steve Strang ) The Strang Report Tue, 17 May 2016 20:00:00 -0400