God created us to love Him with all our being. So why are we compartmentalizing the different parts of our life into secular and sacred? read more
All Stories in Charisma Magazine
Many Christians are laying along the roadside of life devastated, because they have not learned how to deal with the problem of disappointment, says Joyce Meyers. read more
There is always a Goliath trying to block our destiny. Find out the 8 keys for getting to a new level of faith and defeating adversity. read more
Whether it's a minor cold or a major diagnosis, the final word always belongs to the Great Physician. Here are 10 ways to pray for healing and speak health over your life. read more
Regardless of how big you think your problems are, God's Word provides the guidance needed to walk out your faith. Start wielding these 12 weapons. read more
The enemy sees your potential. Your dreams are dangerous to him. He knows that your life has God-ordained destiny. Find out why chasing that destiny is vital to the plan God has for His Church. read more
Your calling as a Christian is real. Here are six practices you can use to effectively overcome the onslaught of the enemy and walk in victory. read more
When Jesus taught the Disciples the Lord's Prayer, it was more than words, it was the dynamic of His daily living. read more
When God speaks there is always prophetic consensus. Here are a few things many believe He is saying to today's Church. read more
International Bible teacher Dr. Roy Harthern, Benny Hinn's father-in-law, has gone home to be with the Lord. read more
As President Barack Obama pledged the country's continued support to American troops yesterday, charismatic Vietnam veteran Dave Roever continues his mission to help wounded warriors find mental and spiritual solace. read more
Recently while browsing through a Barnes & Noble bookstore with a friend, I struck up a conversation with the store manager. He seemed friendly and eager to know more about us, so halfway through our conversation I told him we were both pastors.
He was shocked—not because he doesn’t like ministers, but because he’d never really had a decent conversation with a Christian. “I normally only hear from Christians when they are mad,” he told me.
The three of us sat down at the coffee bar. The manager told tales about religious people who had called, written or walked in his store to inform him they would never do business with him because of objectionable books or Halloween displays. read more
One of the results of being baptized in fire is holiness, a characteristic that was the primary focus of the Spirit in the late 1800s. It defined the Holiness movement and set the stage for the Pentecostal movement that followed at the turn of the century.
But gradually the emphasis in the Holiness movement changed from seeking to develop a pure heart to simply following a set of rules, and true holiness--taking on the nature of God--was lost. We settled for a doctrine of partial holiness: one that allowed a watered-down purity to coexist with carnal hearts full of compromise, competition and division. read more
Though I can't remember when I took my first drink, I'm sure I was really young. I do remember getting high on marijuana for the first time at the age of 13. From that point on, my behavior deteriorated.
In my early school years I was an overachiever, but by the time I was in the 8th grade, I'd begun believing I was going to hell anyway, so I just adopted a "Who cares?" attitude and determined to have as much fun on my way as I could.
I began going to clubs at 16 and went home with whomever I wanted. I ran with a group of three other girls, and we'd boast about our sexual experiences. read more
NOREN VANN KIM SAYS SHE HAS A "VOICE LIKE A FROG," YET THE LORD IS USING HER TO BRING THE ARTS BACK TO THE CHURCH IN CAMBODIA.
The next time you're in a mall or grocery store, look around you. Imagine that every woman over the age of 25 has lost a husband, brother, father or child.
That's the situation in Cambodia today, where death has touched every family because of the brutal regime of the communist Khmer Rouge during the 1970s. One of the millions of women affected by the holocaust is Noren Vann Kim. By the grace of God she has not only overcome immense tragedy, but also is helping others to find--and express--the joy of the Lord. read more
NONE OF US LIKE SUFFERING. BUT IT IS ONLY WHEN WE EMBRACE THE CROSS THAT GOD'S KINGDOM BEGINS TO COME TO LIFE IN US.
Do you wonder why God has to make it so hard on you? Why doesn't He make you good without making you miserable in the meantime? Of course He could, but He does not choose to do so.
He wants you to grow a little at a time and not burst into instant maturity. This is what He has decided, and you can only adore His wisdom--even when you don't understand it. read more
Edna Jean Green was born on October 23, 1909, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Salvation Army officers. She was the oldest of six children. Her parents eventually left the Salvation Army and assumed the leadership of a Holiness church in Ionia, Michigan.
Edna Jean started preaching in her parent's church at the age of 12. As a teen-ager she had her own tent but was accompanied by her father because of her young age. They traveled extensively throughout the Midwestern states conducting open-air, brush arbor and tent meetings. Other meetings were conducted in churches and meeting halls.
Edna Jean was widely accepted by various denominational churches. In 1925, she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which gave her ministry a new fire and intensity. read more
For centuries the church has come under the influence of cultural norms whereby women have been held to second-class status. There has been gross misunderstanding of the role of women in society and the church and a marked refusal on the part of many to acknowledge our accomplishments. God is holding His church to a higher standard than the world's. He is calling for us to embrace the giftings of women and to appreciate the place they occupy in the heart and mind of God. read more
At the tender age of 6, I was greatly influenced by television ads. After seeing a Brill Cream commercial numerous times that claimed one could have beautiful hair with just "a little dab," I decided a whole tube would be even better!
Delighted to find the miraculous salve in our bathroom, I anointed my head with all of it. After I had finished, I revealed the new me to my surprised parents.
After multiple shampooings, it became obvious that the cleansing process would take time. For weeks whenever I ventured out in public, I wore my Easter hat, a scarf or other head wear to conceal my finely greased hair. read more
The Bible says in Galatians 3:28 that because of what Christ has done, there are no longer any differences among us. "There is neither Jew nor Greek" (no ethnic or national difference); "neither slave nor free" (no economic difference); "neither male nor female" (no gender difference), "for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus" (NKJV). This verse refers to the equality we have in God.
But if we are all equal, how is it that the church has so often been guilty of sanctifying a chauvinistic system in which women are put--and not always gently--in second place? I believe it is time for us to revisit the issue of what a woman's place is in God's order of things.
Some years ago, before my conversion, my husband, Nestor, renounced mysticism and gave his life to the Lord. I filed for a divorce.
Though I had grown up in a denominational church, my eyes were blinded to the gospel. But Nestor continued to pray for me, even when we were no longer together, and stood in faith for the return of everything the enemy had stolen from him. read more
LIFE WOULD BE HORRIBLY BORING IF WE WERE ALL THE SAME. DON'T STRESS YOURSELF--JUST BE WHO YOU ARE.
Aware of the public's increased demand for authenticity, advertisers today are placing a fresh emphasis on the "real thing." They sell drinks that have "no artificial sweeteners," bread that contains "no preservatives" and fabrics that are "100 percent cotton." (I have yet to figure out why 100 percent cotton is such a big deal. My iron and I have huge fights with it at least once a week!)
We all have a basic craving for the real rather than the phony. Yet more often than not we maintain a veneer of acceptability in our daily lives that belies who we really are. read more
It was a Saturday night, just two weeks before Christmas 1998, and instead of marching through the malls in search of gifts and glitter, I found myself driving along a dark country road with my precious 19-month-old daughter, Olivia. This was more than a road trip. My husband and I were moving from western Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where Don's new job was taking us away from our home of over 10 years.
There were no Christmas parties this year, only packing sessions. And I was less than thrilled with the idea of moving to what I considered a too-remote area in a too-cold climate. In fact, I was having a hard time hearing God's voice on the matter. "If I could just get a sense of purpose for this place, maybe I wouldn't feel so gray about it," I prayed. read more
The book of Nehemiah says that "the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh. 8:10, NIV). Do you wonder how that can be true when you find it hard to maintain your joy for five full minutes? Do you think this is a biblical truth that applies to everyone but you? Think again.
The joy of the Lord is our strength. It is God's will for our lives. And what He wills, He is able to accomplish in us--even in the midst of a bustling holiday season when we feel pulled in every direction. read more
Editor's note: The following excerpt is a portion of the record of the Rountrees' visions of heaven and the revelations the Holy Spirit gave them. The excerpt begins right after "Anna" has been directed by an angel to take the path to the throne room and go see her heavenly Father.
Much to my amazement, the path on which I had begun to walk seemed to be in motion, like a conveyor belt or a moving sidewalk. I looked down at my bare feet standing on its smooth, advancing surface. read more
My eyes fluttered open, and I was jolted awake. My heart seemed as if it were pounding out of my chest.
Where was I? Nothing looked familiar. Was I in a motel room? read more
Throughout my teen-age years, my aunt owned a catering business. She was known particularly for her ability to bake wonderful cakes--as beautiful as they were delicious. These weren't your everyday oven fare made from butter, eggs, sugar and flour. These were anointed cakes, and they included a secret ingredient.
I remember one occasion when her daughter asked her to bake a huge cake for a friend's baby shower. My mother and I and several others were in the dining room when she was putting the cake together.
Both my 3-year-old adopted Chinese daughter, Jessica MeiLan, and I love clothes. As a stay-at-home mom, I'm always looking for a bargain, especially since I buy for my daughter first.
One Saturday I came home from a yard sale with three denim jumpers, two shorts sets, and a princess-waisted floral dress of pastel pinks, yellows, and blues--all for only $13!
I could hardly wait to wear my "new" dress to church the next day. Usually the church women notice new dresses, and I waited, expecting compliments. But none came my way. read more
I felt prompted to do a search on the word "balance" in my small computer Bible to find scriptural backing for the message. The only reference given that contained the word was a verse in Proverbs, and that had to do with a scale--in other words, with weights and measures, not with the way we use our time.
What I found did not convince me that the preacher was right. I asked the Holy Spirit to show me the truth, and He replied, "The truth is that being wholehearted for God is the key to balance." read more
She was called the greatest woman in Egypt and was recognized by national leaders for her humanitarian work. About 6 feet in height, Lillian Trasher stood tall in both body and spirit. Throughout her 51 years of ministry she fed, clothed and sheltered thousands of orphans, widows and blind women.
She was born in Florida in 1887 and was converted in her teen-age years. At the age of 18, Lillian sensed the call of God on her life and briefly attended Bible school. She left school to work in an orphanage in North Carolina. Later she left the orphanage to pastor a church and then traveled on the evangelistic circuit. read more
wasn't until I turned 43 that I found a doctor who would take me seriously. By then, I was beginning to think I was crazy.
Once my doctor prescribed hormone replacement therapy for me, the symptoms disappeared, and I was able to enjoy a normal life again. Unfortunately, a few years later this doctor closed her practice, and the next physician I saw treated me as though I were exaggerating and changed my medication. This threw me into a tailspin.
At times I felt suicidal, a sentiment which is not in keeping with my personality at all. I could not muster the desire or the energy to do daily tasks. read more
Under the old covenant, the anointing oil had one exclusive purpose. In a symbolic act of consecration, it was poured out on prophets, priests and kings and on the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant and all the individual utensils that were employed in the worship of God.
It was compounded according to strict instructions, and although its ingredients were earthly, everything about it was rich in sacred symbolism. Any vessel thus anointed was set apart for a holy purpose and calling unto the Lord. read more
A few months ago I read an article in a national newspaper that surprised me. A television talk show commentator had interviewed a number of people in nightclubs and other places on the street. He asked each the same question, "Can you name one of the Ten Commandments?"
I was deeply grieved to learn that no one he interviewed could quote any of God's laws. The ones who tried were way off base. read more
Fourteen years ago I was living with a roommate in an apartment close to where I worked and attended church. I had come to the conclusion that God was going to be my only husband for the rest of my life since there were no good men left in the world. I was content with that, but I hadn't always been. For years I'd harbored the dream of being swept off my feet by Prince Charming.
By the age of 28 I had seen lots of toads and not one prince. read more
As I surveyed my overgrown yard I realized, based on my 40-plus years of gardening experience, that something needed to be done. What had been intended to serve as border grass in my well-defined flower beds had spread and taken over.
Many of my shrubs were misshapen and grotesque, pruned by various episodes of ice, blight and drought. Armadillos--those destroyers of southern gardens--had devastated my bulb bed and left unplanned holes and gaps in the lawn. Yes, it was definitely time to relandscape. read more
Childhood is supposed to be a carefree, idyllic time, a time of making happy memories to cherish and remember throughout life. Not so for the children of Haiti, where most youngsters, even 4- and 5-year-olds, can be found carrying water jugs on their heads, baby-sitting, running errands or cleaning house. Statistics show that in this, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, about half the children die before age 5 because of starvation, malnutrition or exposure to disease and inclement weather. Many are abandoned by their parents or orphaned and left to roam the streets, begging for food.
But amid the destitution, political upheaval, voodoo worship and witchcraft that hangs like a heavy, dark cloud over this small island in the West Indies, there is an angel by the name of Eleanor "Mom" Workman who relies on the power of God to save--both physically and spiritually--as many of Haiti's children as possible. read more
I was watching the news when the station ran a segment on a young couple whose home had been struck by lightning. Everything they owned had been destroyed during this unfortunate event, but what caught my attention was what the young man said about his ordeal.
He told the reporter that their lives were over. I couldn't help but think how God had spared their lives, their health and had given them a future to look forward to. But all they could see was the "stuff" they had lost.
This couple could not see their blessings. They had built their world based on their stuff--and now it was gone.
The mind-set of many believers today is not too different from this couple. We think that if we are blessed with a lot of material possessions, then God is favoring us. We stand before our brothers and sisters and testify to the goodness of God when He blesses us with even more than we already have.
"Sister, you should see the car God blessed me with," we tell our friends. And if we're not being blessed with things, we think God has a problem with us.
As a people we store a lot of stuff, much of which we don't use. We lock our belongings behind heavy-duty doors with multiple locks. And as if that isn't enough, we add high-tech security systems and guard dogs for protection. The reason we are paranoid about losing these things is because our stuff has become our focal point.
Christians listen to stirring preaching on prosperity and then walk through life reasoning that the kingdom of God is about gaining things. We whoop and holler because we think that the best sermons are the ones that encourage us to acquire more. Our motivation often has little to do with kingdom business and much to do with naming and claiming more things.
Fortunately, the Holy Ghost inspired Matthew to tell us that we should not lay up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. When the disciple addressed this issue, he was talking to people who believed God favored those who had a lot, but left out in the cold those who had little. The motivation for these believers was to obtain an abundance of material goods because that meant they had God's richest blessings.
So the problem Matthew addressed is the same problem we as Christians must address today. The belief that our material possessions are so important actually messes up our hearts. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21, NKJV).
If we concentrate on things, and those things are taken away or destroyed, our entire world is disrupted. But if we have a clear understanding of Scripture, then when something is taken away we will survive.
You see, God is not interested in just you alone. He has a bigger picture in mind. When God made his covenant with Abraham, He blessed him so that he could be a blessing to millions of other people. God has blessed us for the same reason.
"Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (see Matt. 6:10) should reign in all our communities. Our neighborhoods should be crime-free because God's presence is reflected through His people. And our cities shouldn't be plagued with hopelessness and poverty because believers reside in them. Matthew 6:33 tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
As Christians, let's concentrate on goodness and kindness and winning our neighborhoods through our witness for Jesus Christ.
If you want the favor of God on your life, then plant into someone else's life. Help widows and provide clothing for the less fortunate. We should feed the hungry and help people like the couple who lost everything during a tragic event.
The only way we can effectively impact the world with the love of Jesus is to focus more on spiritual things and less on material "stuff."
The belief that our material possessions are so important actually messes up our hearts.
Bishop Eddie L. Long is the pastor of the 18,000 member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church near Atlanta. He is the author of Taking Over(Creation House). read more
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