Strang Report, by Steven Strang, Founder of Charisma magazine

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Page 14 of 27

I’m Endorsing Rick Santorum for President in the Florida Primary

Four years ago I was one of the first to endorse Mike Huckabee for president. He was a former governor of Arkansas who I felt had great leadership—and he not only shares but embodies our Christian values. But this year I took a wait and see attitude until just a few days before the Florida primary to be held Jan. 31.

I was interviewed on PBS this week for a show that airs this weekend. Kim Lawton, the respected correspondent who has interviewed me before and always reported fairly on the evangelical community, wanted to know whom I’m endorsing. I told her I’m endorsing Sen. Rick Santorum. read more

TheCall Detroit Draws 30,000 Intercessors on 11-11-11

As I arrived at Detroit’s Ford Field to participate in TheCall—a summons to prayer, fasting, repentance and sacrificial worship that began at 6 p.m. Friday and ran for 24 hours—I passed a nearby park where protesters set up an “Occupy Detroit” camp.

As we parked the car, we could see about 35 men, most of them black, singing “God Loves Everyone” to the tune of “We Shall Overcome” and marching with a police escort toward Ford Field.

I didn't wait to hear what they may have said or talk with any of them. I was too eager to join the prayer service inside. In fact, despite the national headlines over the Wall Street protests, no one inside seemed to notice the occupiers were there. The crowd of about 30,000 that gathered at Ford Field had a different purpose: praying for America. read more

After the Republican Debate: Why This Isn’t Politics as Usual

It was interesting to attend the Republican presidential debate in Orlando, Fla., last night as a member of the media. Charisma doesn’t usually cover debates like this, and I wouldn’t have attended had it not been in my hometown. It was broadcast live on Fox News and, truth be told, I could’ve seen it better on TV at home.

Even though I took notes on what the candidates said, I knew my readers either watched the debate or could read more extensive articles elsewhere. The question I had to ask was: “Where is God in all this? How does this affect the Spirit-filled community? And how do I cover it in Charisma?”

The most interesting experience for me was after the debate when Doug Wead, who is a “senior adviser” with candidate Ron Paul, approached me in the “spin room” as hundreds of media people milled around interviewing whoever they could find. I’ve known Doug since I was a teenager. He’s been a political gadfly for years, serving in various campaigns and once working in the White House for George H.W. Bush as a liaison to the evangelical community. In that role Doug arranged a couple of appointments for me with President Bush. He also worked closely with the president’s son and had some sort of falling out that resulted in his being persona non grata later when George W. Bush became president. read more

Amazing Digital Opportunities on Charisma's 36th Anniversary

When I felt led to start a small church magazine, I barely knew what God had in store. That magazine released 36 years ago today, so I thought it was appropriate to reflect on what's happened, and more importantly what is on the verge of happening as we move boldly into the digital world.

Many of you know Charisma started at a megachurch in central Florida. I was working full time as a newspaper reporter then. My, how the media world has changed! The staff found this in the archives: a black-and-white photo of me holding a copy of The Rock, a youth newspaper that I published before Charisma. They had me hold an iPad to show the contrast. Back then I could have never imagined today's iPad! Yet I dreamed that maybe somehow we'd reach a million people. Do you know how many trees you'd have to cut down to print that many magazines?

So from 1975—before the personal computer was invented and a time when the electric typewriter I used was considered high-tech—fast-forward more than three decades and now Charisma (and our other magazines) are available in digital format that's almost beyond belief. read more

The Power of Connection

I wish you could have experienced the powerful connections that took place recently at our headquarters near Orlando, Fla., with high level ministry and business leaders. It illustrated the “power of connection,” which to me is important since I am a “networker” by nature.

Graham Power, a successful Christian businessman from South Africa who founded the Global Day of Prayer, shared from his rich experience in the marketplace and in ministry. He taught on principles of leadership and living out one's calling as a believer in the business world in a program he calls "Unashamably Ethical." Click here to listen to an interview with Power.

We also had time to talk in a confidential round-table setting about some of the opportunities and challenges we were facing in our different situations, share ideas, offer counsel and of course pray together. We all left encouraged and equipped. The emails I've been getting have told how much they got as members of the new Ministry21 Network.

M21 Network (as we sometimes call it) is a relational network bringing together like-minded pastors and leaders to develop their own leadership skills, connect them with others, provide needed coaching, continuing education and wonderful resources. read more

My Tribute to Rose Ferrell, a Great Mother-in-Law


Rose Cameron Ferrell, 1915-2011

For many, mother-in-law jokes have a ring of reality. But for me they don’t. I had the perfect mother-in-law—Rose Ferrell who left us this week. In the 38 years I've been her son-in-law, we never had a cross word. It was well known in the family that she always sided with the in-laws if there was ever an argument.

She lived with Joy and me for the past 3-1/2 years. She was always independent and a pleasure to have in the home. She was a godly woman, and I would hear her praying for her six children, nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Now she’s gone. On Monday, at age 96, she breathed her last surrounded by family and friends. I had spent the night with her in the hospital on Friday, helping the nurses care for her. I fed her breakfast and she was doing so well I took off the next morning for the annual booksellers convention in Atlanta. But she had been hospitalized for congestive heart failure and Monday morning it was obvious it was a matter of hours until she died. As soon as I found out, I immediately flew home from Atlanta and arrived at the hospital in Altamonte Springs, Fla., an hour before her heart quit beating. read more

An Invitation to Meet with High Level Leadership Networking Meeting

For nearly 10 years, I've been meeting three times a year with 10 business and ministry leaders in a small closed group we call “CEO.” We gave it that name because you must be a CEO to be invited. It's for accountability and for what the Bible calls “iron sharpening iron.” I can't tell you how valuable it is to discuss important issues I'm dealing with both in business and my personal life with men I know care about me, who have come to understand me and will keep everything in total confidence.

It was my small group experience that gave birth to the idea to start the Ministry21 Network—a relational network to bring together like-minded pastors and leaders to develop their own leadership skills, connect them with others, provide needed coaching, continuing education and wonderful resources. So far, we've had several hundred join; most are raving fans and tell me how some aspect of what they've learned has changed their lives.

Next week, I'm combining the two for a special networking meeting at our headquarters at 600 Rinehart Road in Lake Mary, Fla. I decided to reach out to the 35,000 who have signed up for my blog to see if you'd like to attend on June 16-17. read more

Randy White, Eddie Long and Matthew 18

Last week, news stories about Randy White and Eddie Long had special meaning to me because there is a Matthew 18 story, which I have not revealed until now, where it says to go to your brother privately.

Bishop Eddie Long announced last week that he settled with four young men who accused him of having homosexual relations. Long had said he was innocent and would fight the allegations, but he settled for an undisclosed amount so "his ministry could go on." You can read more here.

The other news item was former Pastor Randy White who was picked up on driving under the influence in Tampa, Fla. You can read a secular report with the sad details.  Suffice it to say, at one time, Randy was one of the brightest young pastors whose vision to reach Tampa with innovative ministries brought him a lot of accolades from civic and religious leaders. We once featured him and his ex-wife, Paula, on the cover of Ministry Today. It's so sad because, for reasons we'll never know, White let all that influence and potential go down the drain.

What wasn’t known until now is that in the late 1990s, I called Randy and asked to meet with him privately to share a concern. We both drove to the small Disney town of Celebration, Fla., about halfway between where we each lived. Over lunch I told him I was concerned that his success seemed to be promoting pride and he should be careful lest he fall. He thanked me for caring enough to come to him. He responded humbly and said he'd take the warning. I felt I had done what God wanted me to do and forgot about it. read more

The Fascinating World of Christian Spanish Publishing

I enjoyed attending the 19th annual Expolit trade show in Miami, Fla., last weekend. Miami is a world of its own—or, as the joke goes, one of the few places in the United States where a passport is required. Miami is certainly one of the most international cities in the country and is perfect for distributors from around Latin America. It makes sense, then, that the premier trade show for the Spanish Christian book and music industry is held there.

Luis Fernández, an industry veteran of more than 20 years, described Expolit to Dr. Don Colbert, our bestselling health author who spoke at Expolit, as “partly like NRB [National Religious Broadcasters], partly like the International Christian Retail Show and part bazaar.” I know that to be true because I’ve been attending Expolit for 18 years. I’ve seen the growth of the Spanish publishing market, and I have come to appreciate Expolits’s cultural aspects: the trade show closing for afternoon siesta, then staying open until midnight; the crowded aisles in the exhibit hall; or the music blasting from nearly every booth, each one louder than the one next door. I especially enjoy drinking sweet Cuban coffee! read more

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