NOBODY IN MY FAMILY watches Desperate Housewives. My wife and I are raising four teenage daughters, so the last thing we need is a sleazy prime-time soap opera about suburban women who consider adultery an acceptable way to cure boredom.
No thanks. I'll change the channel.
On the other hand, I do want my girls to grow up to be desperate. Not like the women who live on the fictional Wisteria Lane, but more like Hannah--the Bible's original desperate housewife. We could use a big dose of her desperation today. read more
If you are especially burdened to intercede for governmental authorities, it's possible you've been anointed for a special assignment. Who can forget the memorable Wednesday night in January 1991 when television viewers watched with astonishment as the Gulf War unfolded before our very eyes? The war appeared to be a struggle over Kuwait's crude oil. However, oil is symbolic of power, both physically and spiritually.
Saddam Hussein did not count on the fact that God's people would gather throughout the land to pray. Not unlike the prideful Goliath, Hussein was swiftly defeated and made the laughingstock of the entire world. God honors the prayers of His government intercessors! read more
In obedience to Jesus' explicit command, 120 believers waited in the upper room for the promise of the Father, and while they waited, they travailed in prayer. For 10 days they gave themselves to intercession.
Luke records their steadfast spiritual labor: "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14, NKJV). This is a key fact that reveals that intercession was an integral part of the birth of the church.
In that miraculous moment, the Holy Spirit fell in power. Peter preached Christ, and suddenly 3,000 souls believed, repented and were born anew (see Acts 2:37-41). The travail of the 120 brought forth new life for many. This is the calling of God's interceding forerunners everywhere. read more
The local weathermen warned us regularly in spring 2006 about the dreadful hurricane season Florida residents were facing. The two previous years had been record-breaking in our state and across the Gulf region for damage due to hurricanes. In Orlando, where I live, three storms hit within six weeks.
At a conference I attended in May 2006, several leaders discussed the dismal forecasts. As we talked, it became clear that the Holy Spirit was prodding us to do something. After all, Jesus has authority over the winds and the waves (see Mark 4:39), and He gave His authority to us. By the end of the discussion, three of us who have intercessory prayer networks totaling about 10,000 people committed to take a stand in prayer against the storms and their probable devastation.
During the next month I connected with several other leaders whom God was also directing to stand in prayer regarding the storm season. We began to ask the Holy Spirit for His strategy and were amazed at how specifically He directed us to pray. We decreed: "No storm of hurricane strength will hit American soil."
IN THIS HOUR, GOD'S HOLY PURPOSES ARE BEING REVEALED AROUND THE WORLD. I BELIEVE IT IS A TIME OF GREAT SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE FOR ISRAEL.
It was July 2000 and in Israel not only the political climate was hot, but also the temperature--the thermometer was well over the 100-degree mark. Despite the blistering heat, I and 450 fellow Aglow women traveled to the Holy Land just as peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians began at Camp David.
It was more than just a sightseeing trip; we were on a mission ordained by God. For the next several days we traveled through Israel, praying, worshiping and loving the people. We proclaimed the love of God and the holy purposes for His people, those whom He calls "the apple of His eye" (see Zech. 2:6-8). read more
My wife gave me an iPod for my birthday last July but I waited until Christmas to open it. Of course I appreciated the gift. But I avoided opening the box because I didn't want to tinker with another new form of technology.
I have reached my limit. And I am not the only one suffering from high-tech fatigue.
I see this condition everywhere. People talk on cell phones while driving. Some use their phones while e-mailing from their laptops. I see guys chatting in airport restrooms using their remote earphones. (No thanks. I'll call from the gate area.)
I've even watched two people sit together in a restaurant while they phone other people at the same time. What we've lost in real connection with human beings we've made up for in increased broadband speed, sound quality and added video features. After all, who needs the lost art of conversation when we have TiVo, BlackBerry devices, Bluetooth headsets and smaller, sleeker MP3 players?
There is a substantial difference between being filled with the Holy Spirit and not being filled. The apostle Peter went through a period of stumbling, defeat and insecurity. But Jesus had promised the disciples they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them, and they would be His witnesses.
Peter lived that experience in the upper room where it says: "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:2-4, NKJV).
For three years, Peter walked with Jesus and saw the most glorious moments of the Lord's ministry. But when Peter had to make a stand for Christ, he refused to do so. In the upper room, when he received the fulfillment of Christ's promise, the fullness of the Holy Spirit enabled him to become a faithful witness.
We do not change because we witness miracles and wonders, nor do we change because we attend a beautiful worship service. Only an upper room experience can transform us--a personal experience with Christ through His Holy Spirit. read more
Some christians beleive being Spirit-Led applies to only one aspect of their lives. But God wants us to be guided by Him in all areas. One day shortly before the November 2000 presidential election, I came home from work and found my son listening to sound clips on his computer that had been posted on Rush Limbaugh's Web site. The clips were recordings of the voices of women who, previously unsure about their choice for president, had de-cided to vote for Al Gore. Their reason? He had kissed his wife publicly before giving his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention!
"It made my knees go weak," one woman commented. Another said she nearly swooned when she observed Gore's public display of affection. Several admitted that the kiss alone had caused them to become avid Gore supporters. read more
Achieving true oneness with the trinity requires laying aside our own self or soul-life in order to live by the thoughts, desires and choices of Christ.
The bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11 changed all our perspectives. Nonbelievers watched the crumbling towers and faced their own mortality. Believers saw the beginning of the end.
Seeing that we have little time to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into conformity to the life of Christ, we asked ourselves, How should we then live? We recognized that of ourselves we were sloppy, self-indulgent witnesses to Christ, and suddenly we were galvanized into a deadly seriousness about our Christian walk. read more
There is no difficulty in life that can hold you captive when you know that the victor, the word of God, lives in you.
As Christian women we are often told to read the Word of God. "The Word is your defense against the attacks of Satan," people say. So how come it looks as if the enemy is winning in our lives more often than not?
"Lord, am I faithless?" I cried out to Him not long ago. "Do I doubt your Word? Why isn't there more victory in my life?" In response, God led me to Revelation 19:11-13--a picture of the victorious Christ riding into battle on a white horse. But what did this Rider have to do with me and my battles, right here and right now? I wondered. Again, God responded, leading me step by step through the Scriptures until I understood this powerful message of hope and victory. read more