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GROWING CHURCHES

I attend Gateway Church. The cover of your July issue states: “Church in Dallas.” It is not in Dallas. It is in Southlake, which is in Tarrant County, the same as Fort Worth. Please stop giving credit to Dallas when it does not deserve it!
—Phillip J. Peters, Fort Worth, Texas

Robert Morris (“God’s Stimulus Plan,” July) is just a feel-good artist. The “tithe” was for the widows, orphans and poor. If that is what Gateway Church is doing with the money, then give till your heart’s content. If not, then you had better reassess what your pastor is doing.
—Roy Blizzard, via e-mail

 

TED AND GAYLE HAGGARD

I cried through the piece on Ted and Gayle Haggard (Zoom Q&A, August). Their experience, the HBO documentary and now this article all point to the active, passionate work of the Holy Spirit to honor the words of Jesus that He is the author and finisher of our faith.
—Felicia Bush, Royston, Georgia

History is jammed with leaders who were caught in the golden cage of the adoring throngs. Jesus told His disciples that it was for their good that He go away. I don’t think He was referring only to the redemptive aspect of the cross, but also to the tendency we have of making a man, not the Holy Spirit, the one we follow.

—David Grant, London, Ontario

For Ted and Gayle, the restoration is ongoing; the healing, a lifetime endeavor. Our God gives us in each day a new portion of mercy. All we have to do is be humble and repent.

—Aida E. Pardo, Isabela, Puerto Rico

A lifelong commitment to humble service would rebuild Ted’s trust more than all the TV and movie contracts.

—name withheld

CIVIL RIGHTS AND WRONGS

I applaud the authors of your article “Gay Rights Are Not Civil Rights” (July). As the pastor of a predominately African-American congregation and one who grew up in the era of the civil rights movement, I am disappointed by the lack of courage on the part of black leadership to address this issue. I encourage African-American pastors to join the fight for the family because this issue will be our last stand.

—Rev. Phillip M. Davis, Nations Ford Community Church, Charlotte, North Carolina

 

It was God’s will for me to be born black. It was not His will for me to be a homosexual. The Lord saved me and delivered me 25 years ago from the gay life. Being a homosexual is a chosen lifestyle. You might say, “I was born that way”—but that is the reason you must be born again. You can be set free from the control of sin through Jesus Christ. I am happy and have been married for nine years (to a woman). I am an assistant pastor and I tell my testimony by the leading of the Holy Ghost.

—Elder Harold Simms Jr., Tacoma, Washington read more
Leaving Homosexuality

The Buzz



Leaving Homosexuality
By Alan Chambers, Harvest House, softcover, 176 pages, $11.99.

With several states having legalized same-sex marriage, the campaign to declare homosexuality as natural is becoming a trend. Standing against this trend are ministries such as Exodus International, which offers hope to those wanting to shed same-sex habits. Exodus President Alan Chambers writes that although he didn’t choose same-sex attraction, yielding to it reaped a harvest of shame, anguish and bitterness. Part memoir and part instructional manual, Leaving Homosexuality spells out the difficulties involved in departing from a subculture that becomes a powerful mark of one’s identity. Yet the author doesn’t condemn homosexuals, noting that their creativity, intelligence and unity would be welcome additions to the body of Christ. Because he maintains this balance, Chambers strikes a middle ground between those who blindly condemn homosexuality and advocates who tout this practice as normal. Still, the book has two weaknesses. The first chapter includes a salvation appeal that would have worked better at the end. Two guest-written chapters addressing male and female readers would be better placed in an appendix.
—Ken Walker

 

BOOKS

Removing the Veil of Deception
By Barbara Wentroble, Chosen, softcover, 192 pages, $12.99.

Removing the Veil of DeceptionIn Removing the Veil of Deception: How to Recognize Lying Signs, False Wonders and Seducing Spirits, Barbara Wentroble reassures Christian disciples that it is not only possible but it’s crucial both to embrace and evaluate the supernatural. She advocates that Scripture is the first and primary source of revelation, and spiritual manifestations from God will not contradict His Word. Wentroble wisely explains the difference with the ways the word “judgment” is used in Scripture. Jesus instructed us not to judge, or “condemn,” people; but disciples are told to judge in the sense that they either endorse or correct spiritual manifestations. Various deceptions from church history are reviewed, as are new trends, and practical guidance is given for avoiding pitfalls that frequently lead to deception. This book will be a very helpful resource to those who wish to pursue a ministry led by the Holy Spirit, free from demonic or soulish entrapments. Wentroble is a Bible teacher and the founder of International Breakthrough Ministries. She has helped coach leaders in spheres of government, business and education.
—Deborah l. Delk

 

Holy Roller
By Julie Lyons, WaterBrook, hardcover, 256 pages, $18.99.

Holy RollerAs an investigative reporter for The Dallas Observer, Julie Lyons began to feel embittered while viewing countless gruesome crime scenes in her work. With a growing desire to find out if there was any hope in life, she entered the doors of The Body of Christ Assembly, a tiny church meeting in a rundown old house in the worst part of town. She chronicles her experience in Holy Roller: Finding Redemption and the Holy Ghost in a Forgotten Texas Church. About more than just the redemption of addicts and prostitutes, the book highlights her search for hope, which leads back to her own life and relationship with Christ. In the humble Pentecostal church amid a community of people genuinely on fire for God, Lyons comes to terms with her private inner battles and strongholds, witnesses the miraculous and the divine, and finds there is much more hope than she ever expected. Holy Roller is a story of inspiration and encouragement for any who have lost faith in the power of the Holy Spirit today.
—HEIDI L. IPPOLITO

 

MUSIC

Love Is on the Move
By Leeland, Essential Records.

Love Is on the MoveA mixture of soft rock and worship tracks, Leeland’s Love Is on the Move contains a message of God’s love but challenges believers as well to share His love with others through action. The group transforms the classic “Via Dolorosa” into an inspiring, upbeat message of Christ’s surrender and suffering. Special guest Brandon Heath offers his musical talents in the smooth-sounding “Follow You.” And though “Pure Bride” and “Lift Your Eyes Up” have a slow-moving feel, “The Door,” “Carry Me On Your Back” and “New Creation” will pull listeners into a time of abandoned praise. “Holy Spirit Have Your Way” is a reminder of God’s presence in the life of the believer, and the CD’s signature song, “Love Is On the Move,” speaks of the Father’s enduring love for Christians and unbelievers alike.
FAITH LOWE

 

Wash Away
By Don Poythress, Integrity Music.

Wash AwayThe worshipful sound of Wash Away by Don Poythress is like a breath of fresh air for listeners hoping to draw close to the Father and discover who He really is. Recorded live at Christ Church in Nashville, Tenn., the CD is a mix of 12 songs with powerful lyrics, vibrant beats and an acoustic sound that complements the project. Poythress, a worship leader and award-winning singer-songwrter, and well-known artists Ricky Skaggs and Paul Baloche beckon listeners to encounter God with anticipation and faith. “Expectation” is a joyful praise to the Lord, and the country twang of “I Will Call Upon Your Name (Sing of Your Love)” speaks of the brokenness of man and the refuge God offers to all who come to Him. “Brand New Day” testifies to the mighty power of Jesus and encourages believers and unbelievers alike to trust Him: “Every sin has been erased / Mercy has descended, darkness has been lifted / Hope has filled an empty grave.” Wash Away, which is Poythress’ major label debut, will no doubt leave listeners wanting more from the singer and songwriter.
—Valerie G. Lowe

 

Glory Revealed II
By various artists, Reunion Records.

Glory Revealed IIGlory Revealed II: The Word of God in Worship offers listeners a litany of praise and worship songs performed by various major players in Christian music. Producers Mac Powell of Third Day and evangelist/author David Nasser, along with an all-star lineup of singers that includes the likes of Amy Grant, Mark Hall, Kari Jobe and Jason Crabb, encourage listeners to personally experience God’s glory. The CD’s country twang sets it apart from countless other Christian albums in stores today, though several of the cuts sound alike, with similar tunes and beats. Natalie Grant and Laura Story’s “Praise the Lord” is an exceptional worship standout that reminds listeners of the privilege we have to worship God: “Praise the Lord, O my soul / I will praise the Lord as long as I live / I will sing praises to my God even with my dying breath / He gives justice to the oppressed and sets the prisoner free.” This album is ideal for listeners who enjoy country-style worship and those who want to draw closer to the Father.
—FAITH LOWE

 

FICTION

 

Fantasy

Angel FallAngel Fall
By Coleman Luck, Zondervan, softcover, 352 pages, $14.99.

Sole survivors of a plane crash in the ocean, siblings Alex, Amanda and Tori Lancaster discover they are not on earth but in the world of Boreth. They will face terrifying circumstances before they reach their destination and are constantly shadowed by a mysterious creature who wants only to guide the heartbroken home.

 

 

 

 

Contemporary

Gone to GreenGone to Green
By Judy Christine, Abingdon Press, softcover, 224 pages, $13.99.

Lois Barker goes from being a corporate journalist in the Midwest to being the owner of a paper in rural Louisiana. She faces not only her own doubts but also prejudice, greed and deceit from others. In the midst of the challenges and lessons, Lois finds friendship and numerous unexpected blessings.





Historical

That Certain SparkThat Certain Spark
By Cathy Marie Hake, BethanyHouse, softcover, 384 pages, $13.99.

Folks are up in arms when they discover the new doctor, Taylor Bestman, is a woman. Karl Van der Vort is especially opposed but as Taylor’s first patient., he sees she is quite capable. He becomes protective of her, but Taylor wants to prove herself. When Taylor and her practice are threatened, Karl’s protectiveness and Taylor’s pride clash—and sparks fly.

 

 

 


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Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit