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I was in Korea the day the earthquake occurred in Japan followed by the devastating tsunami. Last time I was in Korea I stopped in Japan on the way home and met with missionary Ken Joseph Jr. This time I'm glad I didn't stop! But I've developed a friendship with Ken who emailed me the day after the earthquake to tell me how horrible it is. As I flew home I knew I had to do what I could to help. That's when I decided to reach out to you. One of the things I have through Charisma Media is influence. I want to encourage you to help in some way—even if it's small. There are many ministries helping. We are publicizing the good works of many of them as we find out what they are doing. Help us or help them, but please do something. read more
Matt Roberts, a young preacher I met last week, has built a congregation of 950 in the middle of Mormon country.
U.S. News & World Report recently released its list of “Top Careers,” an outline of professions that are expected to be popular in 2011. I was not surprised to find all kinds of medical jobs on the list—from registered nurse to athletic trainer to massage therapist—but I didn’t expect to see “clergy.” U.S. News revealed that the Labor Department expects the number of religious leaders to climb by 13 percent over the next decade.
One reason that number will grow is that brave men (and some women) are stepping out in faith to plant churches in an increasingly unchurched America. I met one of these courageous souls last week. His name is Matt Roberts; he’s only 32; and he moved to Ogden, Utah, six years ago to start an evangelical church in the heart of Mormon territory. read more
When I recently heard Christians suggesting that a prayer initiative for America was useless I was struck to the core with the realization that the Body of Christ is far from unified. I mean, if we can’t unify around prayer, what can we unify around?
For all the impactful prayer movements in the Body, I still run into some believers who seem embittered by the efforts. They throw up their arms and ask, “Why even bother praying anymore?” because they don’t see the fruit of their supplications. Yet faith is the evidence of things not seen (see Heb. 11:1). I shudder to think what would happen if we stopped praying for America.
What’s the solution to this disunity? More intercession, more equipping, and more love. read more
The morning seemed strange. The dream was unique, unnerving. There were several parts to it that left me seeking, vigilant. I shook my head when I awakened. Was I in some sort of weird frame of mind? Was this dream significant or one to be filed in the circular file? Was it the devil just disturbing me, or was it God speaking to me? For a while I thought I was just being harassed until I began to recall the totality of the dream and review all its parts. I finally woke up to the fact that God was speaking to me—I was not just having a pizza dream. A couple of parts from the dream are to be shared publicly. read more
This past week the Maryland Legislature has wrestled back and forth with the issue of same-sex marriage. For months gay marriage activists have boasted that there had been no real organized resistance to their redefinition campaign. The most surprising aspect of the battle was that last week an army of traditional marriage proponents appeared in Annapolis, MD. Even though this group had testified and lobbied for over 3 weeks with focus and passion, they obviously saved the best for last. During this past week over 30 different groups lobbied in shifts. None of them had received the memo that they were supposed to be the desperate underdogs. In fact they seemed just the opposite. They were as spirited and coordinated as Florida A&M’s (my father’s alma mater) marching band during halftime.
Both religious and secular groups prayed, lobbied or protested according to their own strategies and belief systems. The religiously based opposition was unique - Mormon, Pentecostal, Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Roman Catholic, Presbyterians, and AME leaders busily moved from office to office. These spiritual leaders also represented a diversity in the size of their flocks and parachurch organizations. Churches ranged from 300 members to ministries shepherding over 20,000. The nationally known, mega-church pastors moved with an equalitarian unity among their smaller church colleagues. In addition, the Collective Banking Group (consisting of over 300 member churches), the Southern Baptist Convention of Maryland (with 500 churches), the Maryland Catholic Conference with over 300 churches), the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Maryland chapter (with over 200 churches), and regional pastoral alliances from Frederick to the Eastern Shore were all represented. read more
By keeping our bodies in tip-top shape we can truly do God's work the way He intended.
If you suffer from self-doubt or self-hatred, abuse your body with bad food or bad habits, or regularly find yourself at the bottom of the list of people you do things for, then you do not understand your own value.
I believe that many people today are experiencing a self-respect crisis. This condition has to change in order for us to lead effective Christian lives. read more
We've all heard our fair share of faith messages. We walk by faith. We speak by faith. We live by faith. We prophesy according to our faith. We inherit the promises of God through faith (and patience). You've probably memorized all those Scriptures, too.
We've all marveled at the heroes in the Hebrews 11 "Hall of Faith." There we are edified by accounts of God's faithfulness to His people throughout the Old Testament. There we learn the practical elements of how faith works in the New Testament. Your Bible is probably colored and underlined on those pages just like mine.
Indeed, we've all learned that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. We are convinced that acting on the Word brings results (see Rom. 10:17). We know (that we know that we know) that if we don't doubt in our heart but believe those things that we say will come to pass we will surely have whatsoever we say (see Mark 11:23). We've learned well.
Ultimately, whatever we receive from God, it comes by faith. I'm oversimplifying, but that's the anatomy of faith in a nutshell. Now what about the other side of the coin? read more
Terrorist bombings. Middle East turmoil. $3.95 gas. Killer floods. Moral breakdown. Fragile economies.
No wonder Charlie Sheen is going crazy!
Seriously, there’s a lot of bad news out there. Negative headlines make people fearful, agitated, addicted or even sick. But from what I’ve read in my Bible, Christians should not freak out every time a gloomy cloud settles over us. We, of all people on earth, should be full of hope.
A few days ago a friend asked me what I thought about a prophecy from a well-known Christian leader. This man has predicted a financial collapse in the United States by sometime next year. Other Christians have foreseen terrorist attacks, assassinations, bread lines and even the total breakdown of society. My friend asked me: “What are you hearing from the Lord about the future?” read more
Do you take your relationship with God serious?
If you’ve listened to my teaching much at all, you probably know I had a rough childhood. In fact, I didn’t really have one.
I was seriously abused throughout my childhood. My life was horrible! I don’t remember ever being really happy until I was in my 20s. My mind was a mess; my emotions were a mess; I didn’t know how to maintain a decent relationship; I had all kinds of fears; I developed phony personalities to protect myself; I was lonely, in debt, miserable, depressed, discouraged and physically sick. For many years I had a big mess in my life. read more
There is a great battle raging for the souls of mankind, and as Christ’s return draws nearer, we see this battle intensifying. As never before, the church must be ready for the days ahead, armed with the truth of God’s living Word. Today, I want to share with you a vision God recently gave me of pulpits shaking.
The good news is we believe this shaking we are about to speak of is all a part of God’s preparation. He is preparing His Church for a greater work in the earth, and everything not grounded in the truth of God’s Word must be stripped away. This shaking is something to rejoice in, knowing that God is at work in us all, preparing us as vessels to do greater works in the earth, for His Kingdom and glory. read more
The Watch of the Lord is a global prayer network begun in 1995 in response to the Lord asking us, "Watch with Me."
In January 1995 we invited about 20 people to spend the following Friday from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Saturday keeping the "night watch," fasting sleep for spiritual reasons. We gathered to wait on God in worship and prayer and share in communion through Jesus' body and blood in the Lord's Supper.
Every Friday since, we have done the same. We have celebrated the watch with as many as a thousand watchmen present. And now there are watches throughout the United States and abroad. We find ourselves in the midst of a renewed visitation that is manifesting the glory of the Lord! read more
Stress. There have been so many books written on the topic you could literally fill a library—Amazon offers more than 32,000 books on the sore subject!
There are Christian books, secular self-help books, stress-reduction workbooks—even a Stress Management for Dummies book—all written by the “experts” from just about every angle under the sun.
I’ve read enough of those 32,000-plus books on stress to tell you about what anxiety does to the body. I know the common stress reduction techniques 10 ways from Sunday. I’ve taught on stress from the pulpit. I can parrot the Scriptures we’re supposed to confess when stress comes knocking on our doors. I get it.
And guess what? I still get stressed out some days. read more
When someone dies right after you shake his hand, you realize how close we all are to eternity.
Last Saturday, in between two sessions at a ministers conference in Virginia, I noticed an older black man sitting near me. Everyone else in the hotel lobby was chatting and drinking coffee, but this man was sitting alone—and he seemed troubled. It was time to go to the next workshop, so I walked over to the guy, said hello, shook his hand and added, “God bless you, sir.”
No big deal—just a casual gesture. Or so I thought.
A minute later there was a commotion in the lobby, and I heard someone say that a man had collapsed. Paramedics arrived within minutes. People were praying. My friend Dayton, the host of the conference, asked everyone to clear the area so the emergency workers could do their job. read more
So, what is your story? Who has been cruel to you? Perhaps bitterly cruel. What injustice have you suffered? How have you been mistreated? Perhaps miserably so. Who has cheated you? Abused you? Mistreated you? Lied to you? Lied about you? Maybe it was last week. Maybe it was a lifetime ago. read more
I am calling you from beyond! You have been held in a place that I am calling you from. I am beyond where you are now. Come from where you are to beyond! Come from where you are to beyond! Come from where you are to beyond! For I am marshalling My army and I am calling you forth. I am causing you to be raised up. I am calling even the dry bones to come together this season. I am calling together and raising up this mighty army. You will go forth in My name. You will see kingdoms brought down. You will see kingdoms raised up. This is the season and the hour that I am marshalling My army. read more
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”—1 Peter 5:6-7
We’ve tried as we might to humble ourselves by responding the right way when folks treat us the wrong way—but if we’re honest we’ll admit that it hasn’t always worked. Indeed, we’ve often left the scene of the offense with a bad attitude, complaining to God about how Sister So and So got it all wrong.
We’ve tried as we might to cast our cares upon the Lord—but if we’re honest we’ll admit that we’ve often attempted the task in our own strength. Indeed, we’ve often cast our cares (or our complaints, in many cases) onto a friend instead of the Lord and walked away still trying to carry the oppressive bundle on our already-aching backs.
What’s the problem? Sometimes we take Scriptures out of context. In doing so we lose the fuller meaning. First Peter 5:6-7 offers a strong case in point. Here, the apostle is exhorting us to humble ourselves. But that exhortation comes with a practical how-to instruction that we often forget to employ because we have memorized verse 6 as an individual command and verse 7 as a separate individual command. But the reality is that we humble ourselves in this context by casting our cares on the Lord. read more
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