I just finished reading the cover story on Kathy Troccoli ("A Song for Wounded Hearts" by Bill Shepson, February). I was encouraged to learn of the ministry of healing God has given her.

In our churches, there are so many hurt and disillusioned women who are afraid of what others would think of them if they were to be truthful. I believe God is raising up women such as Troccoli to minister in a unique and personal way to these special "trophies" of the Lord. We all need to proclaim that Jesus is the healer of wounded hearts.

Karen L. Frazier
Sacramento, California

Six years ago I aborted a baby and fell into a depression. It was at a concert where Kathy Troccoli sang "A Baby's Prayer" that I finally allowed God to enter my heart. What a relief it was to hear of the forgiveness God offered me through that song. It's because of people like Kathy who openly share their stories that testimonies such as mine have come about.

Kristi Haithcock
Euless, Texas

I saw Kathy Troccoli at a conference last August. She openly shared about the death of her parents. I could relate because my husband died suddenly at the age of 33, and I was heartbroken and bitter. But when Kathy sang, I felt God speaking to me.

Yes, I had been broken. But I too could use my darkest times to share my story with others and to let them know God has a purpose for everything that happens in our lives.

June Vande Noord
Pella, Iowa

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read about the vision Kathy Troccoli had about dancing with Jesus and its meaning. I had the same vision several months ago but did not know what it meant. It is through this article that I got the interpretation. Thank you for running this story. I feel as if it were just for me from Jesus.

Renee Price
Raleigh, North Carolina

Apparently, the fact that a person can be a Spirit-filled Catholic is an idea too hard for Charisma to handle. You showed your bias against Catholics when you wrote, "Troccoli was raised in the Catholic Church, but did not enter into a personal relationship with Christ until she was 20." I beg to differ. Troccoli was baptized as Christ commanded and received Christ in sacraments as a child in the church.

Heather Hruby
Omaha, Nebraska

The Divorce Epidemic

I am thankful for Jack Hayford's boldness in confronting the issues of divorce and adultery among church leaders ("Don't Marriage Vows Matter Anymore?" February). Pastor Hayford, let no man silence your trumpet. Exposing the truth is an excellent work.

L. Mabry
Maple Grove, Minnesota

Thanks for taking a strong stand against church leaders who practice adultery. Years ago a friend of ours was shocked when her pastor divorced his wife to marry the church secretary. Later, our friend's husband did the same thing to her, rationalizing his behavior because of his pastor's example.

If we are too cowardly to exercise church discipline, the result will be broken homes. The church is owned by the Lord, not the pastor. We are justified in taking a stand.

Rusty Entrekin
Lilburn, Georgia

Jack Hayford's article on the chaos surrounding the satanic assault on marriages is timely. This should be required reading for every church leader, and the recommendations Hayford outlined should be part of every seminary's curriculum. We must heed this Holy Spirit-inspired warning before it's too late.

Phil Adams
Hiram, Georgia

Bravo, pastor Hayford! How many people have been led to believe by certain "men of God" that divorce is acceptable in His eyes? Some are counseled to leave marriages without all avenues of reparation sought between the parties.

When well-known "men of God" act the way they do, others see their actions as a right to divorce without seeking help from godly men or women. The world must look at the body of Christ and laugh.

Mark Thomas
Lawrenceville, Georgia

Marriage is very important to God, and it is a tragedy when leaders who are sent by Him have an affair or get a divorce. God is all about the family. How does it make Him feel when a marriage fails? I hope all married people who read this article will take heed and pray continuously.

Alice Goodman
Baltimore, Maryland

I am saddened to hear of the failures of so many high-profile leaders. Hayford truly brings the apostolic voice of correction and warning the church needs. We must take a holy and righteous stand if we are not to be deceived. No wonder the world looks at the church and mocks. God help us all.

Scott Leonhardt
Las Vegas, Nevada

When two born-again Christians divorce, the "victim" is just as much a covenant-breaker as the "offender." In marriage, vows are made not only to each other, but also to God. Where in Scripture are we released from a vow we made to God? We can "let the unbeliever go," but do we have scriptural license to remarry except in the death of a spouse?

Percine Dorris
Houston, Texas

It frustrates me that your article alluded to "one highly visible church leader" and did not name the individual. Since when is it proper to hide the names of highly visible church leaders who are doing damage to the body of Christ? Expose them. To protect them exposes others to their error.

David Sisler
Augusta, Georgia

I am a licensed clinical social worker and am continually amazed at the sloppy lives of clergy. Thanks for being a true leader and confronting this issue so responsibly and with the Word of God. The article reflects what I wanted to say, but as a person who has never been married, I would have been accused of not understanding. name and city withheld

* It is not gossiping on your part to report on ministers who sin and then call their actions acceptable. People need to know. I wonder if these ministers are the false prophets the Bible warns us about?

Barbara Bellamy
Hillsboro, Oregon

The news of prominent divorces reflects a tragic state of affairs in the church. If you had not made us aware of these situations, we wouldn't have a clue as to what is really taking place. People should take these controversial issues as a sign that something is wrong and that spiritual warfare is needed.

York R. Gresser
Ocala, Florida

In Defense of Fur

In response to the reader who criticizedCharisma's cover photo of Arctic missionary Kayy Gordon in a warm fur coat ("Revival on Ice" by Billy Bruce, December), we need to search Scripture and see what God has to say about it. Genesis 3:21 says, "Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them" (NKJV). Subject closed.

Linda S. Connolly
Mesa, Arizona

The reader's comment about Gordon wearing a fur coat is an example of some people's ignorance. This critic has never lived in the Arctic. She called the use of animals for such purposes "human greed." In the Arctic, you call it "human survival." name and city withheld

It is obvious the person who wrote the letter knows nothing about respecting God's anointed or people from other cultures. Gordon serves the Lord in a location where warm clothing is needed to survive. Should all the people in the Arctic be condemned for wearing fur to survive?

I would love to be able to tell Kayy Gordon that she looked beautiful on the cover and that I apologize for the self-righteous judgment of other Christians.

Carole Harris
Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Stop Gagging the Women

J. Lee Grady's feature on women in ministry ("Let the Women Preach!" December) was, for the most part, excellent. While I still have some reservations about women preachers, I think the evidence in Scripture is on the side of allowing women to preach.

Philip A. Williams
Rockingham, North Carolina

I would like to add Abigail to Grady's list of female leaders in the Bible. Nabal's irreverent disdain toward David sharply contrasts his gracious and spiritually bold wife. Abigail recognized and fulfilled the call of leadership. Men are not guaranteed spiritual status by virtue of their gender. God can choose a housewife and exalt her.

Cheryl Leigh
Ruskin, Florida

I am concerned with J. Lee Grady's sarcastic spirit and avowal of feminist ideology. Grady describes many conservative Christians as medieval, chauvinistic and patriarchal, without directly investigating biblical teaching regarding women in church ministry.

By demanding that churches conform to societal rather than biblical standards, Grady is performing a disservice to the women he is seeking to help, and villainizing the multitudes of Christian men and women who disagree with him.

Stephen M. DeLany
Citrus Heights, California

I grew up under the leadership of a female pastor who was a classic example of a mighty woman of God. God will use whoever He desires to carry the gospel or to pastor a church. And people need to understand what the apostle Paul
was teaching before they voice their opinions.

A. Lyle
Middletown, Ohio

Those who say the church is adopting the standards of the world by allowing women to preach should research history and find out where the idea of male dominance in the church really came from. It certainly didn't come from the New Testament, which teaches that there is neither male nor female in Christ (Gal. 3:28).

Harold Reid
Pickering, Ontario

I do not agree with allowing women to be senior pastors of a church. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Let your women keep silent in the churches" (1 Cor. 14:34). Look it up if you don't believe me.

Some women will say, "We have the right to preach!" But God said it is a shame for women to speak in the churches. Women, you are pushing God's chosen ones--men--to the side, and you are rebelling against God. I would not dare to oppose God's law. Why are you?

Elisa Reyes
Alpine, California

Editor's note: You cannot cite 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 to restrict the ministry of women. Bible scholars disagree on the exact meaning of this passage, but only the most rigid would say that Paul thought it was "shameful" to hear a woman's voice in church.

Some scholars believe Paul was addressing the issue of noisy disorder in the Corinthian congregations. Others say verses 34 and 35 are actually quotes from a letter written to Paul by legalistic church leaders. Whatever the case, we know that Paul commissioned women such as Phoebe (Rom. 16:1-2) to teach, and he allowed women to pray and prophesy in church services (1 Cor. 11:5).

Where Are the Native Americans?

I just read Richard Twiss' column, "Where in the World is Waldo?" (Smoke Signals, February). I find it intriguing to see "First Nations" teachers rising up in the body of Christ. They have unique and much-needed insight for the entire church, not just for Native people. I would love to hear more Native perspectives on family, spiritual warfare and the sharing of wealth.

Name withheld

I was saddened by Richard Twiss' column, but not surprised. The world's views seem to make their way into the church with startling rapidity today. To see an article espousing "diversity" and lamenting a lack of equitable representation of minority groups was eye-opening.

The world is becoming more racially divided through the emphasis on multiculturalism and diversity. I pray that the church will not play follow the leader in this area, as it has in others.

Christy Scarborough
Chincoteague Island, Virginia

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