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Revival or Disaster Headed for US West Coast?

One of the greatest revivals of all time began at Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906. The wretched former stable burned so brightly with the glory of God that for a time it was called “the second most famous address in the world.” God can do it again, and will, if we want it enough.

Every revival in history seems to be the result of a few people becoming so hungry for God that they wanted Him more than oxygen. Those who have such hunger will not be denied. It’s time to seek a revival that becomes the most famous address in the world. It’s time to seek a move of God that won’t quit moving.

I’ve seen in visions and dreams the destruction that is destined, especially on our West Coast. This has caused some to say that I have a hatred for our West Coast, which is not true, but rather the opposite. I really can’t help what I dream, and though a psycho analyst might say it is the result of deep feelings, I know these are prophetic dreams. They never leave me pleased, but rather I’m grieved enough to take all of the heat for sharing them with the hope that people will listen, repent, and they will not have to come true. read more

Revival or Disaster Headed for US West Coast?

One of the greatest revivals of all time began at Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906. The wretched former stable burned so brightly with the glory of God that for a time it was called “the second most famous address in the world.” God can do it again, and will, if we want it enough.

Every revival in history seems to be the result of a few people becoming so hungry for God that they wanted Him more than oxygen. Those who have such hunger will not be denied. It’s time to seek a revival that becomes the most famous address in the world. It’s time to seek a move of God that won’t quit moving.

I’ve seen in visions and dreams the destruction that is destined, especially on our West Coast. This has caused some to say that I have a hatred for our West Coast, which is not true, but rather the opposite. I really can’t help what I dream, and though a psycho analyst might say it is the result of deep feelings, I know these are prophetic dreams. They never leave me pleased, but rather I’m grieved enough to take all of the heat for sharing them with the hope that people will listen, repent, and they will not have to come true. read more

The Power of a Life Lived Fully for God: A Tribue to David Wilkerson

Jesus said, unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and dies it remains only a single seed but if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24, NIV - UK)

On the afternoon of April 27, on a Texas highway about 95 miles southeast of Dallas, a 79-year-old man died in a car crash.

Like many others around the world, I was saddened to hear the news. I first met this man when I was in my early 20s, and the example of his life and ministry has long been an inspiration to me. read more

David Wilkerson: A Man of Unlimited Faith

This obituary, written by David Wilkerson's family, appeared in the program for his funeral in Tyler, Texas, on May 2.

Loving husband and father, doting grandfather. Friend to the outcast and hurting. Fearless witness to Christ's saving power. Passionate voice for God to his church. Tender supporter of widows, orphans and the poor. And spiritual father to generation upon generation—from the destitute to the powerful, from adults to teenagers, from loved ones to strangers from every walk of life.

These traits only begin to define David Wilkerson. For over six decades he served the Lord faithfully in ministry, founding and leading outreaches that have grown international with each decade. Behind it all has been an unwavering belief in God's love for ever human being and His relentless desire to reach them. read more

From Sudden Death to Sudden Glory: Remembering David Wilkerson


The news of Pastor David Wilkerson's passing shocked me. I was immediately struck with sadness when I read the headline, "Pastor David Wilkerson Dies in Car Crash." While we know that his devotion to Jesus Christ and mankind has surely ushered him from this life into heavenly glory, I could sense the great loss that many felt due to losing a faithful servant of the gospel.

People, worldwide, posted status updates on Facebook that showed their admiration of Wilkerson and gave countless testimonies of how his ministry had played a role in their life. Numerous YouTube videos of some of his most popular messages, such as, "A Call to Anguish," "The Second Coming," "On Hell," among many others, were being uploaded to social networking sites. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Martha Munizzi

Martha Munizzi on ‘Because of Who You Are’

To have a song that’s had that kind of life and longevity is incredible. When I wrote it my kids were young and everyone was getting ready for bed, and I just had a moment to reflect and watch my kids play. Suddenly I started singing the chorus part: “Because of who You are.” I kept it to myself and would sing it around the house, but then I thought, “Because of who You are, I give You glory, I give You praise” ... but who is the “You”? I started looking up the names of God: You are my Jehovah Jireh, my provider—all of the different names for God.

I’ve found that songs about God to God are the songs that people gravitate to; they’re the songs that literally change the worship time because it’s suddenly not about me, it’s about Him and it’s directed to Him. It’s rallying all of us to sing of His greatness. Those are just the best songs, but they’re not easy to write, and when I’m writing I have to remember that. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Don Potter

Don Potter: Talking to God in Worship

Don Potter had heard the admonition to “seek God’s face” before, yet like many, it left him feeling perplexed. One day while seeking the Lord in the cabin where he was staying, he looked out an upstairs window. “The sky was clear and blue ... and just then I cried out, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to seek Your face—show me Your face!’ When I looked up there was a cloud right outside the same window ... perfectly shaped like a human eye and looking right at me. I stared for a moment and then fell on my face. When I got up, I started writing this song [called ‘Show Me Your Face’].”

Potter waited a year before he sang the song in public; that’s how intimate the experience felt and how concerned he was about “offending my King.” However, that sort of Spirit-filled experience isn’t uncommon for Potter, a musician and producer who, in addition to leading worship at churches around the country, also works with country stars such as Wynonna Judd.

“(As I’m leading worship) I try to hear the heart of people,” Potter says. “I then try and sing that to God as I believe I’m hearing it. After a bit, God will sometimes want to say something back, and I will try my best to repeat the words I hear. Praise-leading is really not leading at all, but offering yourself as a conduit for God to have a conversation with [people].” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Israel Houghton

Israel Houghton: A ‘Friend of God ‘

 

During an annual retreat with his worship team, Israel Houghton stumbled upon—or was given—one of his best-known worship songs. 

“This guy was walking us through a lesson,” Houghton recalls, “and he handed out a sheet with all these promises of God: ‘Nothing will separate us from the love of God,’ ‘We are more than conquerors.’ And then three-quarters down the page it says, ‘I am a friend of God.’ He says, ‘Everyone, circle one promise that stands out to you.’ I circled the phrase, ‘Friend of God.’ When asked why I chose it, I just started crying.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Joel Augé

Joel Augé: When Facebook, Family & Worship Merge

Joel Augé is a busy guy. His website features tweets about innovation and hockey, book recommendations, photographs of his daughter and—seemingly as an afterthought—a small picture of a CD, suggesting he makes music. Yet Augé, CEO of a Canadian gaming company called HitGrab (the developer of MouseHunt, one of Facebook’s most popular games), doesn’t find his roles as worship leader, family man and “company vision guy” as all that different. 

“Worship is an act of responding to what God has already done for us. It’s no different at work. I feel I’m constantly responding to how God is moving our business forward,” Augé says. “My act of worship at work is being a good steward of this opportunity.” 

Raised Catholic, Augé once thought of becoming a priest, but that was before puberty and girls. After some wild times, which included dropping out of high school and moving (alone) to Newfoundland, Canada, Augé had a born-again experience and started writing Christian songs. Today he takes something Paul Baloche, his friend and mentor, teaches to heart: be ready for inspiration.  

And just because it seems as if he has it all under control doesn’t mean he does. “My song ‘Promises’ … was [written] before our daughter was born,” Augé recalls. “I had no idea how to be a dad. I was afraid—terrified actually. It was then that I heard the Holy Spirit calm me down with these words, ‘I will never leave or forsake you; you belong to Me.’” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP -Paul Wilbur

Paul Wilbur: Persistent Messianic Worship

It’s difficult to stop Paul Wilbur once he puts his mind to something. When he became a Christian—a shocking conversion given his Jewish background and family’s lack of interest in religion—his brother stopped talking to him. 

Wilbur’s response after years of trying to re-establish their relationship? He bought the house next door.

Today the two ride motorcycles together.  read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James on ‘Song of Love’

“Song of Love” has been used in a lot of churches for corporate worship. The thing that was most powerful for me was hearing it for the very first time in my own home church in Franklin, Tenn., where our praise and worship team did the song often. To hear it being sung by the congregation of familiar faces around me was a very beautiful and memorable moment for me as a writer.

One of the most powerful things that can happen in ministry is hearing other people using your songs to worship God. To know that a song has been birthed from my own personal relationship in encountering God, and that now other people are encountering Him too through the same words and music I’ve written, is a very profound experience to me.

I’m a real nature person; I love being outdoors and seeing God’s creativity all around me. That really draws my heart instantly toward worship. 

That sense of God in the vastness of His great universe of creation that we see all around us was really the inspiration for this song and what it expresses. The lyric line, “The heavens declare You are God” is a very real biblical truth that is ever-present in my mind. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Matt Maher

Matt Maher on ‘Christ Has Risen’

“Christ Has Risen” was inspired by a third-century sermon by John Chrysostom. The concept is very simple: God used death to destroy death. He didn’t even have to lift a finger. He literally tricked death into destroying itself; Jesus used the process of death to completely eradicate it. So now it just becomes a process of transformation, and death is a window or a doorway. 

It became this chorus: “Christ has risen from the dead, trampling over death by death.” I wrote it and then Mia Fieldes from Hillsong helped finish it. 

I love to read works by theologians. Saint Augustine, John Chrysostom, Henri Nouwen and C.S. Lewis are some of my favorites. At the time I wrote this song, it was my goal that the record would have a theme, that it would be a record someone could listen to from start to finish and have been taken on a journey—the journey of transformation because of what Christ has done for us. 

The reality is that the conception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ is a journey that, if we allow it, takes place in our hearts every year, every day and, if we let it, every moment. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Paul Baloche

Paul Baloche on ‘Open the Eyes of My Heart’

From Africa to Azerbaijan, that song has somehow gotten into people’s hearts and languages. Just that simple prayer: “Open the eyes of my heart.” 

It was one of those phrases that a pastor friend of mine would pray before he would preach, and ... I would take that phrase and just sing it over and over again. I thought, “Man, this is something we need to sing [as a congregation]. We should get another section to this.” 

I looked in the Word and saw, “high and lifted up.” [The other phrase] is from Ephesians chapter 1. And then the song just came together naturally.

People ask me, “Do you ever get tired of singing it?’ And honestly I don’t. It’s like, “Do you ever get tired of praying the Lord’s Prayer?” Repetition isn’t a bad thing.

Songwriting has actually been a helpful exercise for my spiritual life because I’m able to prayerfully construct a musical prayer that others can join in with me. You take a profound truth that you hear on a Sunday morning and you just explore that [in a song]. The Bible says, “Pray without ceasing,” and to me, songwriting has always been a way to carry that out. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Leonard Jones

Leonard Jones: The Cloud That Changed My Life

Leonard Jones, a worship leader for MorningStar Ministries, will never forget what happened on the final day of a worship conference in 1996. After nine hours of nonstop worship, he started playing a version of the song “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. 

“The praise grew to a supernatural level because we were all physically worn out,” recalls Jones, who became a Christian in 1970 during the Jesus People movement. “All at once, a glory cloud appeared in the middle of the stage and stayed for like two minutes, and then rose up all at once and disappeared. It greatly impacted my life . The result was four CDs that changed the direction of worship in the church.”

Jones continues to play marathon praise sessions, including events where people worship for 50 straight hours. “I’ll be doing a lot more of those this year,” he says. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Misty Edwards

Misty Edwards: Writing With the Holy Spirit

As a leader at the International House of Prayer, Misty Edwards is charged with staffing and encouraging those involved with the 24-7 prayer room. “Keeping it going ... is a lot of work,” she says. “It’s the primary place I pour out my energy.”

But despite the demands, Edwards  is  able to write songs and lead worship because of the Holy Spirit, whom she calls “my closest friend.” 

“Worship-leading and songwriting with Him is exhilarating,” she says. “When we pray and sing the Scripture, He actually teaches us—often through our own lips.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Brian Doerksen

Brian Doerksen: Close-Up

 

Moment you knew you were called to be a worship leader: I was a teenager and my dad took a group of us to a Petra concert. Toward the end of their set, they did some songs that were ... more about drawing us into the presence of God. I was touched by God and wanted more!

Hardest thing about music ministry: Doing your best in a way that’s deep, transparent and vulnerable—and it being dismissed. 

Best part about your life: Getting a hug from my 11-year-old son, Isaiah [who has Fragile X Syndrome and doesn’t speak]. He knows life is about giving and receiving love!

Why it’s better to live in Canada: Our politics are more peaceful, and we are a bridge culture between Europe and the U.S., so we get the best of both!

Worship is ... Surrender. Sometimes we forget that’s what the word means ... and don’t realize the most profound expression of worship may be the times when we are willing not to play or sing. read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Leeland Mooring

Leeland Mooring: Worship in a Lincoln Town Car

Leeland Mooring, frontman for the band Leeland, is only 22, but he’s already preparing for the day when he no longer performs before big crowds and receives the attention that follows. Maybe that’s because his second home was once his family’s Lincoln Town Car. His parents had a band,  Majestic Praise, and traveled with two evangelists, conducting revivals around the country. 

“We did that for 2-1/2 years. I was 11, my brother was 13, and my sister was 9,” Mooring says. “We weren’t sure whether we’d be able to pay the bills, and it was then as kids that we began to see the sufficiency of God, the power of God.”

Mooring’s parents eventually started a church in Baytown, Texas, with Leeland as the unofficial youth-group worship leader. These days his band has the ability to make a leap into mainstream pop music, but Mooring says of the group: “Ultimately (praise and worship) is what comes out of us.” And as for all the attention? He could live without it. “If all this was taken away, I could go back to Baytown and continue to pursue God’s purpose in my life.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Chris Quilala

Chris Quilala: The Night That Changed Me

As a teenager, Chris Quilala asked God for one thing while attending church camp: freedom in worship. “That night, during the worship service, I lifted my hands for the first time. At that moment I felt His presence so strong,” Quilala says. “It was such an intense experience in which I felt the love, peace and fear of God all at the same time. From that moment on I knew that God was such a huge, loving and real God.”

Today, as a worship leader with Jesus Culture, Quilala helps people experience the same freedom. “My prayer over the past few years had simply been, ‘God, more than anything, I just want to know You.’ For me, worship is [an] intimate opportunity to express the love and burning passion that’s in my heart.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Lincoln Brewster

Lincoln Brewster: Rockin’ a Baptist Hymnal

Never the churchgoing type, Lincoln Brewster grew up in Alaska and California surrounded by domestic violence and drug abuse. His stepfather was a gruff fisherman now known to millions as a boat captain on the reality TV series, Deadliest Catch.

“The fact that I’m married with kids and a worship leader at a church? That’s the miracle story,” says Brewster, 39. Even more unbelievable for Brewster—who, at 19, was former Journey frontman Steve Perry’s lead guitarist and had a mainstream record contract—is that one of his songs was recently published in a Baptist hymnal. “If you had my background, you would’ve been voted least likely to be a worship leader. So to have a song in a Baptist hymnal? It’s God having a sense of humor.”

“Leading worship is not what I thought I’d be doing, and it’s not what I wanted to do,” says Brewster, a staple on Christian radio and a worship pastor at a church near Sacramento, Calif. “But when God got a hold of my heart, I realized that this is what I was born to do.” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Kari Jobe

Kari Jobe: Changing the Atmosphere

Kari Jobe doesn’t just have a soft speaking voice and gentle demeanor. The 29-year-old worship leader is also blessed with the singing voice of an angel. And it’s the combination of these qualities that often allows her to help people lower their guard, release their burdens and truly worship God.

“When David played before Saul it caused the tormenting spirits to leave. I’ve always loved that,” Jobe says. “When you ask the Lord to come, He does come and it changes the atmosphere. That’s how it was for me. That’s what worship is for me.”

Not that Jobe is any different from the rest of us. She finds it difficult at times to fully lay down her burdens before the Lord, and sometimes those experiences become songs—as in the case of “You Are For Me,” which she wrote while in an anxious “season of waiting.”

“I felt like I could see some things that God had promised through a chain-link fence, but I couldn’t get to them yet. God was teaching me that His timing is perfect,” Jobe recalls before quoting Psalm 27:14: “‘Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.’” read more

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BEHIND THE WORSHIP - Laura Story

Laura Story: An ‘Indescribable’ Life

Imagine a 19-year-old college student looking out the window while driving through Asheville, N.C. She goes home and writes a song about how she felt. Years later the song is on the radio, sung at her college and heard around the world.

If that sounds odd, imagine how Laura Story felt. She wrote “Indescribable” and was more surprised than anyone that the demo she sent to Nashville, Tenn., ended up in the hands of Chris Tomlin, who eventually recorded it. “All of a sudden we started hearing the song everywhere,” says Story, 33. “It wasn’t anything I was looking for ... that’s the story of my life.”

Story lacked so much confidence in her musical ability—namely, her singing—that she’s still surprised to be leading worship at her Atlanta church and at events around the country: “I grew up listening to people who could do all these vocal acrobatics and I knew I couldn’t do that. I have a decent voice, and I sing in tune most of the time. But when I realized this was something maybe God wanted me to do, I wasn’t going to shy away from it.” read more

Billy Hoprnsby

A Tribute to Billy Hornsby

Church-planting pioneer Billy Hornsby, who worked for more than 30 years with church leaders nationally and internationally, passed away on March 23 after a battle with cancer.

"On March 23, 2011 at 9:44 p.m., our father and friend Billy Hornsby went to be with the Lord. Billy's passion for God, family, life and leaders around the world will be long remembered," announced Chris Hodges, founding and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Ala. Hodges is also Hornsby's son-in-law.

Married for more than 40 years to his wife, Charlene, Hornsby was a published author who directed a nationwide church planting organization, the Association of Related Churches (ARC)—one of the most successful church-planting organizations in the world—and served as the senior European consultant for EQUIP, John Maxwell's global leadership training organization. Since Hornsby formed ARC in 2000 with a handful of pastors, the network's congregations have often been recognized among the fastest growing churches in the nation.

Coping With the Process of Dying

Just weeks before passing away, Billy Hornsby sat down with Charisma Publisher Steve Strang to talk about coping with the process of dying.

"Struggle Well"

Watch Billy Hornsby deliver an inspirational message at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Ala., only months before he went home to be with the Lord.

Honoring a General

Prior to Billy Hornsby's death, friends and leaders from across the nation paid tribute to ARC's inspirational co-founder, president and spiritual father. We've gathered some of those tributes here to honor Billy and give you a sense of what a true spiritual general he was.

Christian Billionaire Pledges to Donate Half His Wealth

What does David Green have in common with Warren Buffet, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, and Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg? First, they are all billionaires. Second, they are all giving away half their wealth to charity.

The CEO of Hobby Lobby, Green, a devout Christian, is among a growing list of billionaires who have pledged to give away most of their money. Green and his wife, Barbara, are officially part of The Giving Pledge, an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death.

“Coming from a family of preachers, the idea of giving back has been part of my life as long as I can remember,” Green wrote in his pledge letter. “My parents and their parents before them were what some would consider poor, but they gave back whenever they could whether through small contributions of money, or through acts of kindness,” God has blessed me with a wonderful family, a successful business and outstanding employees. I do not take these blessings lightly.”

When Hobby Lobby was created in the early 1970s, Green says he was committed to use his profits to help ministry work. He says knew from an early age that ministry work, at least in the sense of preaching from a pulpit, was not his calling. But, he adds, he also knew that God gifted him with a mind for understanding business, and that gift would allow him to carry out God’s work through contributions to great missions throughout the world.

“We honor the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles. From helping orphanages in faraway lands to helping ministries in America, Hobby Lobby has always been a tool for the Lord’s work,” Green wrote, pointing to a verse in 2 Corinthians that says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

What's your take on wealth? Did Green make the right move? read more

Did You Know ...·

A gospel song is dominating the playlists in nightclubs and bars in east and central Africa.·

MTV Africa host Emukule Ekirapa, also known as VJ Kule, reports that the song “Tobina,” which means “to dance” has been a smash hit in clubs, bars and churches in East and Central Africa. The upbeat praise song by Congo gospel artist Daddy Owen has secular and Christian listeners swaying to its worshipful lyrics. Whether the listener is in church or a club, VJ Kule says the song’s message is clear: “Thank God for the beautiful life that you are living. Thank God for your health. Thank God for your family. Once God has sorted all of that, the only thing left to do is dance and praise Him.” read more

Numbering Our Days

During much of our life we measure time by its duration: how many years have passed, how many remain before us. We rush through one task in order to hasten on to the next. We use up time, often squandering it like wealthy millionaires.

But as we reach late life, this preoccupation with quantity gives place to an appreciation of quality. The slowing of our lives allows us to meet each person and situation with greater attentiveness. Each moment, each day becomes more precious.

We are finally able to sink into the present moment. In Number Our Days, Barbara Myerhoff describes this capacity to live life fully as one of the secrets of aging well.

She quotes a Jewish friend: "I think this paying such attention to life is what we mean by 'a heart of wisdom'...In the psalm it says, 'So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom."

Learning how to number our days means cultivating a capacity for wonder, for solitude and for prayer. Deepening our understanding of these dimensions of the spiritual life can enrich our aging immeasurably.


Adapted from Winter Grace by Kathleen Fischer, copyright 1998. Published by Upper Room Books, www.upperroom.org/bookstore/. Used by permission. read more

Surrendering to God

In the early days of my ministry, 50 years ago, I would go to a place to run meetings and stay for perhaps a week. The people would come, and I would preach, and it was wonderful.

Then I pastored for 20 years in a church south of London. I was so fulfilled in that church. I loved it. This, too, was wonderful.

Then all of a sudden, God said to me, "Go." I said, "No." A second time God said, "Go." But again I said, "No." After my second refusal, God began to deal with me. When He did, I learned something: The God of Jonah still lives!

I realized that, in the whale's belly, Jonah was brought to a place where he would either declare, "Salvation is of the Lord," or bewail, "Salvation is of the Lord," one or the other. And in that place God began to deal with him.

As a result of the Lord's "dealings," I was a dying man at age 51. I persisted in my disobedience for a time, but finally at 2 a.m. one morning, I surrendered to God.

I said, "Lord, I'm going." He said, "Yes, you're going." I said, "But I had decided to stay!" God replied, "No, you're going. You'll either go and do what I've purposed you should do, or you're going home

So I moved out--but not because I wanted to. God has a way of making us give in. How much easier if we just cooperate with Him in the first place! read more

God Can Use You, Too

When I was a little girl, I watched my dad get drunk and physically abuse my mom. One day He went so far as to bring another woman into our home.

At 4 years old, I was molested by a baby-sitter, and at 5, by a family member. The molestation continued until I was 12.

At first, I didn't tell anyone because the abuser said my mom would be angry with me and would not believe me. When I finally spoke up, that is exactly what happened.

In high school, I spent every moment either at school or working, just to get away from the tur moil in my home life. Then at 17, I became a Christian.

My mother made it difficult for me to live the Christian life. Eventually, I returned to my old ways.

I began preparing to attend college in Europe. I wanted to get as far away as I could, but I discovered I was pregnant at 18, and I was kicked out of my home.

I moved in with my boyfriend and cried every night for a year. This was not what I had planned!

When we were old enough, my boyfriend and I were married. We had many differences, but I made a commitment to him.

My husband liked to drink and smoke. His drinking led to cocaine use and adultery. I tried everything to get him to stop using drugs, but nothing worked.

One day I called out to Jesus to help me.

My husband became very sick, and I ran to God. That day I found Him all over again. He comforted me and loved me as though I'd never left Him.

Two years later my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given two to six months to live. But before he died, he became the kind of man I'd prayed for him to become.

Now I'm running a day-care center and working with abused women. I have also begun speaking and writing books.

The Lord has turned my misery into a ministry to others. He's using me in ways I never imagined He would. read more

Comfort in Crisis

Times of crisis don't usually evoke cherished memories. However, it is just such a time in my life that calls up my fondest memory.

While I was growing up, my family went to church sporadically and believed in God. I believed that He existed, but other than that I never thought very much about Him.

Then in my late 20s a series of events drove me to a crisis point. My mom died suddenly, and 14 months later, I married and began a new life 900 miles away from family, friends and everything familiar to me.

When I became pregnant with my first child, the thrill was tempered with fear. Problems with the pregnancy confined me to bed for several weeks. As I prayed for the safety of my child, I found myself deeply desiring to know this God to whom I was praying.

Until then, I had avoided reading the Bible because I'd been deceived into believing I could never understand it. A precious Christian friend encouraged me to buy an easy-to-understand translation and dig in.

I devoured the Psalms as ravenously as a starving person would a sumptuous meal. A picture of God began to emerge from them that was very different from the one I'd created myself, and oh, so much better!

When I read through the New Testament, I began to understand my desperate need for Jesus. Right there in my bed, I asked Him to come in and take over my life.

Later I realized that the crisis in my pregnancy was a gift in disguise. Not only was I blessed with a perfect baby boy, but also I was born again to eternal life. read more

Grieve Not the Spirit

A few years ago a British couple, Sandy and Bernice, accepted a call from their denomination to be missionaries in Israel. A house was provided for them near Jerusalem.

After they moved in, they noticed that a dove had come to live in the eaves of the house. They considered this to be a confirmation that they were in the right place.

However, Sandy noticed that every time they raised their voices, the dove would flutter off, sometimes not returning for some time. "Have you noticed that every time there is a lot of noise, the dove flies away?" he asked.

"Yes, and it makes me feel sad. I am afraid the dove will fly away and never come back," Bernice replied.

"Well," Sandy said, "Either the dove will adjust his behavior to us, or if we really want to make sure we never lose him, we will have to adjust our behavior to the dove."

Likewise, our heavenly Dove, the Holy Spirit has feelings, and we can hurt His feelings when we grieve Him by the things we do (see Eph. 4:30). I have learned that the Dove will not adjust to me; I must adjust to Him.

What is needed is a sensitivity to the Spirit's ways and an immediate awareness of His absence should He withdraw. In fact, how quickly we recognize His absence is a good test as to how well acquainted we are with Him.

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The Angel And The Honey

One weekend near the end of 1999 I set aside time to be in the presence of the Lord and pray. On Saturday morning I sat up in bed and began to wait on Him.

Suddenly I heard footsteps walking across the kitchen and coming toward the bedroom door. I knew there was no one else in the house. But the next moment, an angel was sitting on the side of my bed.

He had in his hand a teaspoonful of honey. At first I could only smell it, but then my mouth was filled with the flavor of honey.


I looked up a few Scriptures about honey to try to understand the meaning of this visitation, but nothing clicked. So I asked the angel, who was still in the room but no longer visible, "What is this with the honey?"

He replied, "Have you never read about Jonathan? When he ate the honey, his eyes were enlightened."

I found the passage the angel referred to in 1 Samuel 14. Saul had forbidden the people to eat, but Jonathan had not heard his command (see vv. 24,27). So when they came through the wood, Jonathan dipped his rod in a honeycomb and ate some honey (see vv. 26-27). When one of the people rebuked him (see v. 28), he said, "See, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey" (v. 29, KJV).

After I read the passage, the presence of the Lord grew stronger and stronger, and for 2-1/2 hours I saw open visions.

Since I had this experience, I have smelled honey many times when I have been praying for people. The honey represents the enlightenment of the eyes--the revelation of the Spirit.

I share this experience to encourage you to press in for similar revelation. God never does something for one person only; He pours out His Spirit and anointing over the whole body of Christ--to those who will receive. He wants all of us to be able to look into the Spirit realm so that we may see what He sees, including angels. read more

Delivered From Abuse

In October 1995, I was 34 years old and on my third marriage. While I was recovering from a major operation, my husband viciously attacked me. After choking and hitting me, he pushed me into the walls and threw me across the room.

Although I did not want another failed relationship, I was concerned for my son, who was 16, and my 11-year-old daughter. I kept wondering, What am I doing wrong?

We had dated for five years, but we separated after four months of marriage. I decided I couldn't take the arguing, his adulterous relationships and now the physical abuse. read more

God's Grace is Real

When I was 4 years old, my mother was stricken with meningitis. I can recall the night an ambulance careened around the corner and took her away to a hospital.

My father returned in the morning, looking extremely weary. I heard him on the phone telling someone that her fever was 107, and I wondered what that meant. Fear seemed to have wrapped around him as though it were choking him.

I expected everything to return to the way things were before her illness, but when Mom arrived home from the hospital, things were not the same. Meningitis had left her suffering with terrible migraine headaches, seizures and memory loss. read more

I'm More than a Survivor

Ever since I can remember, life has been a struggle for me. Everything in my life was negative, including the image I had of God.

I didn't understand why I felt so unloved and unworthy to be loved. I had received Christ as my Savior when I was 14, but no matter how hard I tried, all my efforts were met with condemnation and ridicule.

It wasn't until I was 28 years old and struggling to find the courage to leave an abusive husband that I stepped into a counselor's office and began my journey into freedom. The memories flooded my mind, and I wept bitterly as I told the counselor of my abusive marriage and the rape and molestation I had endured as a child. read more

A Tribute to Ms. Ann

My mother and I had some pretty rough times while I was growing up. Looking just like her didn't help. Everyone constantly compared us, from our clothing to the way we carried ourselves to our personalities. No wonder we clashed so much.

Years later, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child. I prayed and prayed during the weeks leading up to the ultrasound that I would have a boy. My husband wanted a girl because, as he put it, there was "way too much testosterone in his family."

My desire for a boy was deeply rooted in pain and anguish. We wagered with each other up to the day of the ultrasound. read more

God Has a Plan

When I was a child, severe medical problems cropped up as a result of congenital issues. For three years, my parents and my doctors were hopelessly baffled as I endured horrendous pain.

While facing the taunts of a world that couldn't understand what was happening, I tried to function as a normal child and keep up with school. Unfortunately, the education system wanted to put me in a special needs school. Others thought I was just trying to seek attention.

A month before my 16th birthday, I laid in bed one night in sheer agony. I weighed 68 pounds, and my skin was translucent and grey. Trying hard not to be heard by my family, I cried to God: "Please take me home with You. I don't want to live any more. No one believes me or can help me. Just take me home!" read more

Trusting God With My Life

Learning to trust God can seem impossible during the difficult times in our lives. I know because I have been there.

I have heard many stories of broken marriages being healed and restored by the power of God. My story is different. When my own marriage was in trouble, I hoped and prayed for reconciliation. But that never happened, and the marriage ended in divorce.

For a long time, I was in total despair. I carried feelings of guilt, shame and failure for not being able to save my marriage. Many times the hurt was almost unbearable. My sorrow seemed to drown out any encouraging words from family and friends. read more

Greatly Blessed

I've had to overcome a lot of adversity. I've had to walk through many valleys and climb many mountains.

I was a mother at the age of 16. I gave birth to my son, Dwight (a gift from God), on the last day of 11th grade. I was determined to return for my senior year, and I graduated from Winter Park High School near the top of my class.

That fall I enrolled at the local community college, and for 1-1/2 years, I worked two jobs, went to school and raised my son. Around that time I realized that I had a gift and passion for hairstyling. My Grandmother Ruth owned a salon and she inspired me. She became my mentor and encourager. read more

A Word of Peace

Six years ago, I stood holding my infant son, Nathaniel, trying to sort out what I was hearing. Our family doctor said that the plates in our son's skull did not seem to be closing properly, and he needed to see a pediatric neurosurgeon.

I wondered: A pediatric neurosurgeon? Nathaniel's only 4 months old. I'm just here for a checkup. Will they operate on his brain?

By the time my husband, Art, got home that day, I was remembering that God was in control. I believed we could pray and this situation could turn completely around. Art and I agreed that not only did we need to pray, but we also needed to have a prayer service at our house for Nathaniel. read more

Fear Not

I love being outdoors. I take great pleasure in watering my plants, digging in the soil and pulling weeds. But I live in an area where rattlesnakes exist, even though in 40 years I have never encountered one.

Apparently, a nest had been stirred up in an empty lot recently, and my neighbors were suddenly finding them in their yards. One even appeared in a neighbor's garage.

After the snakes moved in, my pleasure was replaced with fear. Now when I ventured outside, I stood anxiously holding the hose as my eyes darted about, alert to any danger. Every time I went into my garage, it was with fear and trepidation, wondering if a snake was lurking in a dark corner. read more

Emeralds Find Their Way Home

My desire to have an emerald was birthed when my husband, Bob, and I saw a loose, bright green emerald while browsing the Los Angeles Jewelry Mart. It was an eye-catcher!

To my delight, Bob placed an emerald ring on my finger for our 25th wedding anniversary. Little did I know it would become a token of my faith and a test of what I believed.

My husband and I have a fun tradition we look forward to each year. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we officially begin the Christmas shopping season at a nearby mall. One particular Friday proved to be momentous. read more

Shunned for Believing

After 11 years of serving and worshiping in a denominational church, I found myself an outcast among the congregation because I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Hurt and dejected, I felt as though a spear had been thrust into my heart. My whole world crumbled.

People I loved turned away and told me to go with my "own kind." The baptism had made me different, and to the church I was unacceptable.

I could have wallowed endlessly in my pain, but the Holy Spirit lifted me and began a work in me that exceeded my understanding. I moved out from beneath the heavy shackles of the bondage I'd been too blind to recognize. read more

Miraculous Provision

From the time I became a Christian in December 1991, I was involved in various types of ministry--youth work, street evangelism, college ministry and worship. But I knew that it was also part of God's plan for me to minister overseas, even if only temporarily.

I had a strong desire to minister in India. I knew it would be a faith-building experience for me. And in June 1999, I was preparing to go there on my first short-term missions trip.

For several months, I had been experiencing severe dental pain because of four impacted wisdom teeth. Also, I had cavities, and I needed braces, which I knew would cost an exorbitant amount of money. I didn't have it, but I knew that my heavenly Father did. read more

Healed by Forgiveness

I was sexually molested by a family member when I was a young girl. At age 18, I was brutally raped and lived in fear of my attacker for years.

Following this last assault, I accepted Christ as my Savior. After having had a career in modeling and acting, I entered Bible college and fell more and more in love with God and ministry.

Today, I am an ordained minister and assistant pastor. Although I went to the family member who had abused me and told him I had forgiven him, bitterness still had a grip on my heart. read more

Thankful for Dad

My father loved telling the story about the day I was born, September 7, 1955. He named me Florence Rose, after his mother, who died when he was a boy.

During my childhood my parents did not get along well for a very long time. Years later I asked my dad why he had stayed around, and he said, "Because no one was gonna get my kids."

Back in the 1960s fathers had few rights, but our dad took care of my siblings and me when our mother moved out. Although she returned after several months, our dad was always there for us. read more

A Living Witness

Health issues have plagued me all my life. Tests administered years ago showed that I was allergic to almost everything.

I've spent many days in and out of hospitals. In 1993, I was hospitalized for more than a month. A portion of that stay was spent in the cardiac care unit (CCU).

I was unable to breathe, so a tube was put in my throat that prevented me from talking. But I asked my husband to bring my Bible and anointing oil to me. When I couldn't talk, these were witnessing tools for God. read more

God Still Heals

I was taken to a hospital, where I spent two weeks in a coma with a multiple skull fracture and a fractured jaw. I spent six weeks in the intensive care unit and another six weeks in rehabilitation, undergoing occupational, physical and speech therapy.

Finally, I was discharged and started putting the past behind me. I know the prayers of my parents, my friends, my teachers and my church helped me to recover. read more

Thankful Survivors

In 1944, I was in my early teens and spending the summer with my sister, Sissy, and her husband, Ted. Sissy, her four children and I were about to leave for a trip in her old station wagon, when Ted surprised her with a brand-new car he'd just bought for her.

This was in the days before seat belts, so I had the privilege of holding the new baby, Linda, on the road. It was Saturday, and there were lots of construction signs but no workers. For miles, the signs warned us of the deep ditch next to the shoulder of the extremely narrow road.

My sister was fumbling with the radio and ran off the highway. She pulled hard on the steering wheel but there was no controlling it. She screamed, "Hold on!" read more

God's Transforming Power

After her divorce, our daughter and her two children moved in with my husband and me. She did not get along with my husband, and there was constant strife in our home. A while later, he told her to leave.

My daughter was angry and left, taking the kids with her. I cried out to God, asking Him to protect my grandchildren and place them where they should be.

Soon the children were back in our home, and my daughter moved in with friends. The children were 6 and 7 years old and very active. At first I was overwhelmed, and I wasn't sure how I was going to hold down a job, lead a women's Bible study and take care of them. read more

God Meant it for Good

In the 1800s, my great-grandmother, who was white, became very ill. Her doctor prescribed morphine for her pain and, unfortunately, she became addicted to it. She eventually became involved with and conceived a child by a black man who was able to get the drug for her.

Their child, my grandmother, was born in 1900. Because her skin was brown, my grandmother was not allowed to attend the local public school. Neither were her daughter (my mother) nor I.

My mother and I have white skin; nevertheless, we were denied the privilege of going to school because of our racial heritage. We were rejected, laughed at, talked about, ridiculed and put down. read more

Take God at His Word

One day I was working at my desk when one of my co-workers mentioned that Charles and Frances Hunter, the "Happy Hunters," were holding their last healing crusade. She had read in Charisma about Frances Hunter's bout with breast cancer.

Hearing about this, I felt as if someone had just flattened me. I thought, Frances Hunter, this wonderful instrument of God, how could this be? I have known the Hunters and been ministered to by them since 1988, when they came to my church and taught on healing.

Within minutes, I was crying, and my friend was praying for me. My co-worker asked me if the cancer I'd battled a few years before had returned. I confessed that I did not know because there were so many sensations and feelings that I was dealing with in my body and mind. read more

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