Remembering Jamie Buckingham

How the charismatic leader’s impact remains 20 years after his death

For a quarter century Jamie Buckingham was the conscience of the charismatic movement. Through his many books, speaking engagements and his monthly “Last Word” in Charisma for 13 years, he called things as he saw them. Now, two decades after his death, we reflect on the spiritual giant he was and his genius as a writer.

Jamie received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1967 at a Full Gospel Businessmen’s convention while researching for his first book, Run, Baby, Run, co-authored with Nicky Cruz. Jamie had been a Southern Baptist, but two devastating moral failures left him wounded, humbled and aware he needed the power of the Holy Spirit in his life. He was always open about his own failures in his sermons, columns and books such as Risky Living, and that transparency drew people to him. 

Only Jamie could write about a “sock-eating demon” in his washing machine and make a spiritual point. Or tell how God had to essentially give the Israelites a laxative in the Sinai Desert to “get Egypt out of them.” He loved the Sinai and made several pilgrimages there. In 1979 I climbed Mount Sinai with him (he scaled it six times). It wasn’t only a wonderful experience; Jamie transferred to me his love for Israel, which I have to this day. read more

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Quit Trying to Be Good

Why you should stop trying to change yourself ... and instead accept the gift of conviction

I used to be a very frustrated Christian, trying to be “good,” trying to have some sense of worthiness and righteousness in my relationship with Christ.

But then I found out the good news: I was put in right standing with God by His grace, because He loves me. I am made the righteousness of God through Christ and not by anything I do myself. However, for me to become all that God created me to be in Christ and really experience His righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, obedience to His will is important. But we can’t be obedient in our own strength. Let me explain ... read more

Don’t Give Up on Church

When my friend Ferrell Hardison moved to Princeton, N.C., in 1990, he began pastoring a Pentecostal church with 70 people. Founded in 1918, it was an aging congregation with a tiny budget. Ferrell was the 25th pastor to lead the church, and some of his predecessors had stayed only a year or two. Not exactly a young pastor’s dream job!

Today, the church has a new name—The Bridge—and it has grown to 1,250 in attendance. Last fall the congregation broke ground on a new worship center, and they’ve planted a satellite congregation in Goldsboro, N.C., that already has 300 members. A large percentage of the church’s $2.6 million annual budget is marked for outreach, and Ferrell estimates that at least 3,000 people have come to Christ through their ministry in recent years.

Ferrell is a simple guy who believes in prayer. He’s not a celebrity CEO pastor who runs his church like a business, nor is he a self-appointed “apostolic” tyrant who barks orders to his staff. He believes in core biblical values like servanthood, team ministry and compassion. And people are flocking to The Bridge because they find Jesus-focused worship, Bible-centered preaching and, most of all, New Testament-style love. read more

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A First in Florida

Could a 450-year milestone establish new order in the “First Coast” state?

Florida has been a key state in recent national election seasons, yet it’s also been the focal point of many prophetic words regarding the apostolic spirit resting upon it. The word apostolic relates to being “first in order or that which sets order,” and indeed, prophetic statements have defined Florida as a pioneering state that sets the standard for the nation and for revival.

Because Jacksonville, Fla., is my hometown, I take note whenever people offer such words concerning Florida. Lately, though, I’ve noticed the prophetic words spoken over my state are manifesting in a three-fold nature in 2012: in the natural, spiritual and historical.

In the natural, you don’t have to be a prophet to know that during the year of the presidential election all eyes will be on Florida. But it’s the spiritual and historical elements that have brought new revelation to why this is called the “First Coast” state. read more

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