Charisma Media Founder Steve Strang discusses his appreciation for the national leadership of Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood and the local leadership of Orlando, Fla., pastor Carl Stephens. read more
Behind the scenes of the Trayvon Martin case—and the inspiring account of reconciliation no one’s telling
Trayvon Martin was killed 2.3 miles from my office in a newer part of Sanford, Fla. The exact street where he was shot is less than a mile from a similar gated townhouse community where my younger son lives.
So to me, this is extremely personal. As we put together this special issue, I’ve been in a whirlwind of meetings and diplomacy unlike anything I’ve ever experienced during my journalism career, stretching back to high school. And as with most stories, there is a behind-the-scenes account that’s just as interesting. This is my attempt to tell that personal side of the story, even as Charisma deals with the spiritual, cultural and political effects of this situation.
I’ve known for years Sanford was a racially divided community, and I’ve worked in my own way to bring healing and reconciliation—including getting to know black pastors, attending their churches and serving on the board of a small ministry to the homeless in the center of this predominantly black area. I’ve helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for many of these ministries. I’ve even been involved in Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations and lobbied to get a street named after the slain civil rights leader. read more
The gay rights movement is trying to have President Obama's election be a referendum on this issue. And if Obama is re-elected there's no stopping the extreme social agenda he apparently has. read more
I’ve never understood why only a few Pentecostals celebrate Pentecost Sunday. Maybe it’s our revivalist tradition that came from the “sawdust trail” where anything that hinted of formal religion was thrown out. read more
Jim Bakker believes The Harbinger
is one of the most important books he's ever read because of its prophetic
insights. The book highlights how God dealt with Israel when the people
rejected Him, and how the same warnings in Isaiah 9:10 still apply today.
Bakker is featuring Cahn on his national
television show all this week. He invited us on the show at their new facility
called Morningside outside Branson, Mo. read more
Robert Walker was born 100 years ago today, April 30. He was my friend and mentor. I consider him a great man and this is my
way to honor his memory and to thank God for his life.
Robert Walker founded Christian Bookseller
magazine, Creation House, Christian Life Missions, and Christian Life
magazine, which merged with Charisma in 1987. I have continued his
publishing legacy. I wrote articles in Charisma and Christian
Retailing, and have arranged for a reception in his honor as part of the
regular Christian Life Missions board meeting. I hope you'll read on
about this great man who inspired so many. read more
My son Chandler and I traveled to Africa in 2006, and we had to
sleep one night under a mosquito net. That’s because the
possibility of malaria is still real in the remote area of Malawi
where we visited.
Malaria was a problem in the U.S.
until around the time I was born. A concerted effort was made to wipe
it out. The same can be done in Africa, where it killed nearly
600,000 people in 2010—mostly children. The thing is, we can save a life
with a $6 sleeping net that is treated to kill the malaria-bearing
mosquitoes. read more
Trayvon Martin was killed less than 3 miles from our offices in
Lake Mary, Fla., which abuts Sanford. I’ve been in meetings the
last two days with local pastors and held a major press conference on
Friday covered by all the major media.
Thankfully, pastors in this city are beginning to work together.
And I believe the news conference gave opportunity for some of the
pastors in Sanford to talk about love and forgiveness and
reconciliation. I even met yesterday with the special prosecutor
Angela Corey, who said they are wanting justice for Trayvon and due
process for the man who admitted shooting him, George Zimmerman.
On Thursday I hosted a meeting of 75 pastors, most of them local.
My friends Bishop Harry Jackson and Dr. Raleigh Washington were in
town for other things and we brought them into the meeting. They both
spoke of healing and restoration. They both wanted to see where the
tragedy happened, so I drove them over to The Retreat at Twin Lakes,
where the shooting occurred. It’s less than half a mile from where
my 24-year-old son lives in a similar gated townhouse community in a
newer part of Sanford. read more
Today is Maundy Thursday on the liturgical calendar—the day
Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples before He went to the
Today, to commemorate Holy Week, we had a short worship
service in our office with my staff. I invited several staff, who also serve as
pastors, to take part in serving, and we took communion together. We also
prayed for the volatile situation in our community following the tragic death
of Trayvon Martin, which has created uproar in our country.
Next week, I'll write more about this situation, which has
really hit home for me. The reason: the tragic killing took place 2.9 miles
from our offices in Lake Mary, Fla., which abuts Sanford, Fla. As a result we
have decided to focus our June issue on The Church's Response to Racism.
Today I attended a meeting with black and white ministers in our city. Tomorrow
I'm attending a prayer service on Good Friday. Some very interesting things
came out, from a spiritual point of view, which I'll comment on later. read more