Strang Report, by Steve Strang, Founder of Charisma magazine

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Page 13 of 20


Thanking God for the Legacy of Robert Walker

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

Partner With World Vision to End Malaria

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: Moving From Tragedy to Reconciliation

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

Jesus Gave Us a Mandate to "Love One Another"

Today is Maundy Thursday on the liturgical calendar—the day Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples before He went to the cross.

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

Good Friday and Pentecost Sunday

Pastor Alex Clattenburg has been a good friend for nearly 40 years. I got an email about a great Good Friday service he is having next week at Church in the Son in Orlando, Fla. I wish I could attend but I’ll be out of state. We close our offices every year on Good Friday. I always try to attend a service and it’s hard to find a Spirit-filled church that has one. What a pity. It’s part of our culture which comes out of the revivalist tradition of the sawdust trail. It’s as if anything liturgical is something we should avoid.

I had a good friend in the Episcopal Church that talked about how they had things all week long. I had to ask what Maundy Thursday was! We didn’t celebrate it in the Assemblies of God. But it’s the night before Good Friday. Okay, maybe we don’t need to go for the bells and smells of some churches. But sometimes we are so casual about special days, we go too far the other way. On Good Friday I like to take communion and to think about the sacrifice the Lord made on the cross. I encourage you to think about that sacrifice. read more

Read About The New Zionism; Plan to Attend Jerusalem Banquet

Robert Stearns, founder of Eagles’ Wings, did a magnificent job as guest editor for the new issue of Ministry Today. He highlighted a very important topic: the New Zionism.  I’m happy to post the new digital issue below in hopes that you’ll read it and benefit from the articles.  You’re getting it before it is emailed to our regular list.  I hope you’ll subscribe and be among the first people to receive it on your iPad.

The issue of Zionism and Israel is near and dear to me. For years I’ve been a strong supporter of Israel. So it’s an honor for me to have been invited by Robert to be one of the “conveners” for the Jerusalem Banquet in New York City on May 17. Even though I’ll write about it later I wanted to send this out right away because it was announced this week that the keynote speaker will be former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. read more

Leading Change in the Spirit-Empowered Church

I’ve been to more networking meetings than I can count. Sometimes I leave discouraged over what I see and hear: leaders with their own agendas whose lives don’t match the New Testament because they tolerate compromise.

But a week ago my reaction at Converge21 in Virginia Beach, Va., was opposite. Instead, there were leaders who see the problems in the church and who are committed to getting the church back on track. Several hundred even signed a resolution articulating this commitment. Keep reading to see the entire resolution.

Converge21—held at Regent University—included many significant leaders like Dr. George Wood of the Assemblies of God, Robert Morris from Gateway Church in Dallas, Billy Wilson of Empowered21 and Pastor Jack Hayford from The King’s University. It was really three meetings in one: the Society for Pentecostal Studies, which held its annual meeting; there was a small invitation only meeting of mostly older charismatic ministries; and Empowered21, which brought in “younger leaders.” Any time you get young people together who are eager to learn and be mentored, there is a tremendous energy! read more


Christians Can Make a Difference on Super Tuesday

Many of you know I've endorsed Rick Santorum. To me he's the only real conservative and the one who is right on the moral issues. A press release came to me earlier today and I've cut and pasted it below. I urge the tens of thousands who will get this to forward it to friends who live in states who will vote on Super Tuesday. This race is so close that Bible-believing Christians CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE and help Santorum get the momentum to win the nomination and then the general election.

Why have I endorsed Santorum? It's easy: Not only is he right on the issues, but he's someone I consider "squeaky clean." I was interviewed on the PBS program Religion & Ethics and they wanted to know why I didn't endorse the other candidates. For Mitt Romney I'm concerned about how he's flip-flopped. And I'm wary of the fact that he's Mormon (although that doesn't prevent me from voting for him—it only makes it more difficult). And with Newt Gingrich I'm concerned his many moral failures (which he says he has repented of and I don't doubt that's true) shows a deep character flaw. But Rick Santorum has a good record, projects the image of a leader and has strong Christian values. read more

We Don't Need Politics As Usual, But Social Transformation

It's the political season in what many are saying is the most important presidential election of our lifetime, so I turned to my good friend, Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., to be the guest editor for the January/February issue of Ministry Today. You can read the digital issues of the magazine by clicking on the cover images below.

Bishop Jackson has appeared on the CBS Evening News, Fox News' Special Report, The O'Reilly Factor and The Tavis Smiley Show. Bishop Jackson's articles have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

And why not? He's Harvard educated and very articulate—something the mainstream media respects. But at the same time Bishop Jackson is a great spokesman from a Christian perspective—he understands the believer's mandate to bring God's kingdom to earth. Bishop Jackson has a successful track record of growing churches and discipling believers. He hasn't strayed into liberal theology, and his integrity is above reproach.

Bishop Jackson also defies stereotypes. An African-American "bishop," he embodies the best—not the worst—of what that usually implies. He has solid conservative values when many African-American preachers just flow with liberal Democrats. But while conservative Republicans trust him and work closely with him, he doesn't join their ranks. He's a conservative Democrat who speaks boldly in the corridors of power about right and wrong, good and evil, and trust and betrayal.

On a personal basis, I have gotten to know and trust him over the years—first at networking meetings of leaders where I became impressed with his verbal contributions. I noticed that like the old E.F. Hutton commercials, when Bishop Jackson spoke, others listened. read more




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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 21) – Singer Krista Branch, who gained notoriety when her underground Tea Party hit, “I Am America,” went viral on YouTube, will perform at the Chattanooga Tea Party’s Liberty Forum event Saturday, February 25, at Abba’s House in Hixson. The event will run from 1 to 4 p.m. with Krista performing a “mini-concert” prior to the start as well as singing during the event.

Krista has sung at tea party rallies and concerts around the nation and appeared on “Fox & Friends,” “The O'Reilly Factor” and other programs. Her song, "I Am America," was the official song of the Herman Cain campaign.

Krista developed her love for music at a young age, singing at a small church in east Texas. Krista now lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is working on an upcoming album. She takes pride in being a devoted wife, mother, patriot and woman of deep faith.

In addition to Krista, the event will feature GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and local, state and federal candidates and officials, who will address their vision for each of the different levels of government. The CTP will also offer refreshments to celebrate the tea party movement’s 3rd Anniversary.

Although there will be no cost to attend the event, donations will be welcomed to help defray costs.

The CTP also asks attendees to bring food donations, which will be collected for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

The Chattanooga Tea Party is a non-partisan grassroots organization seeking to educate and inform its members and the public at large of the fundamental issues and struggles our country is facing. We are committed to energizing voters to become engaged in the process of solving the nation’s problems.

  read more



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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 16) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will headline the Chattanooga Tea Party’s Liberty Forum on Saturday, February 25. The forum, which celebrates the tea party movement’s third anniversary, will offer citizens a chance to listen to and question candidates and leaders in national, state and local government offices.

Santorum was one of several invited presidential candidates and first to accept.

The event will run from 1p.m. to 4p.m. and will be hosted at Abba’s House, at 5208 Hixson Pike in Hixson, TN.

“We already have more than 20 confirmed officials and candidates at every level of government. Senator Santorum’s decision is just icing on our anniversary cake,” said Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West.

Santorum currently leads in several national polls of GOP candidates. The former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania is well known for his commitment to traditional conservative and family values, and he helped author and pass key reforms, such as the landmark Welfare Reform Act.

In addition to Santorum, confirmed attendees include US Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and 3rd District challengers, Weston Wamp and Jean Howard Hill; State Senator Bo Watson, State Representatives Vince Dean and Richard Floyd, State Rep. candidate Mike Carter; County Mayor Jim Coppinger and County Commissioners Larry Henry, Tim Boyd, Joe Graham and Mitch McClure, challenger Marty Haynes; Sheriff Jim Hammond, County Trustee Bill Hullander; City Council members Carol Berz, Pam Ladd, Andrae McGary, Peter Murphy and Manny Rico; School Board members Mike Evatt, David Testerman and Rhonda Thurman; and U.S. Senatorial candidate Zack Poscevich.

Select speakers will address their vision for each of the different levels of government and there will be an opportunity for voters to interact with candidates and elected officials. The CTP will also offer refreshments to celebrate the tea party movement’s 3rd Anniversary.

“We launched our local group with a tax-day tea party event April 15, 2009,” West said. “Our event was one of 900 tea parties that day, a dramatic increase from the 50 tea parties on the first nationwide tea party event held six weeks earlier on February 27, 2009. Most of us who first met in early 2009 to prepare for that rally are still involved and contributing to our citizen activism. We’ve become close friends. And our focus has never wavered from demanding that federal, state and local governments adhere to their constitutional foundations, follow fiscal conservatism, and support free markets. We are pleased to be joining with and dozens of other Tea Party groups around the nation in celebrating our movement’s anniversary.”

Although there will be no cost to attend the event, donations will be welcomed to help defray costs.

The Chattanooga Tea Party is a non-partisan grassroots organization seeking to educate and inform its members and the public at large of the fundamental issues and struggles our country is facing. We are committed to energizing voters to become engaged in the process of solving the nation’s problems.

---------------------------------- read more

Want to Make a Difference? Support Rick Santorum

The National Religious Broadcasters convention ended this week in Nashville, Tenn. For me it was a productive and busy time connecting with authors, talking business and making new contacts. The buzz on the floor this year was The Harbinger, which has been on the New York Times best-seller list for seven straight weeks. Author Jonathan Cahn was there to do media interviews and sign books.

But the other buzz was about the presidential election. Everywhere I turned people were talking about it. Since NRB tends to be conservative, it’s not a surprise that most of the attendees feel President Obama is taking the nation in the wrong direction. A lot of people asked me whom I was backing. read more


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

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