Page 13 of 21
We've already started work and I created this "trailer" sharing the vision. 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
Robert Stearns' Jerusalem Banquet in New York City is a magnificent event that brings together Jews and Christians who share a love of and support for Israel. 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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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