Great parenting doesn’t happen by accident—ask Kate Battistelli, mother of Dove award-winning recording artist Francesca Battistelli. Through raising her daughter to understand her gifts and calling, Kate has discovered a few keys to steering children toward their destiny in God.
When my daughter, Francesca, was a little girl it was obvious that she had a flair for the dramatic and a bent toward the performing arts. So into ballet she went, then show choir and community theater, singing lessons, and later professional theater, guitar lessons, camps, conferences and college—all with an eye toward the future and a sense God had a plan for her in the performing arts.
Could I have ever known when she was 4 years old and starting ballet that she would grow up to be a Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian singer with five Dove Awards and five top-10 singles? Did I know her songs would be played on a variety of television shows and major motion pictures—all within the first two years of her career? Of course not. But I did know God had something special for her—just as He has for your child.
Successful adults don’t happen by accident. It takes intentional effort to raise children to adulthood who have a strong sense of their destiny in God, a passion to serve Him and a deep knowledge of His gifts and callings. As parents, we know our children better than anyone else. By partnering with God we can equip them to go after their dreams and be all He called and created them to be.
How to prevent the allure of digital media from overtaking you or your loved ones
I admit it: I love technology. It’s the air I breathe. I tweet. I post to Facebook (you can find me there often—but not right now; keep reading!). I keep my Android smartphone with me at all times and live on my “big” computer for hours every day. I have multiple monitors. I have multiple email accounts, which all forward to one another to ensure I always get my messages, which are also synched to my phone. I own a Kindle. I own an iPad.
So—I get it. I understand the pull, the excitement, the fun of the digital forms of technology. And I am a true believer in harnessing their positives.
But I’m also a counselor and an addiction specialist, and some of what I see in digital media is deeply alarming. Kids age 8 through 18 spend almost 7-1/2 hours every day awash in media, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study. Factoring in their ability to multitask (listening to music while browsing Facebook, for example), their media exposure rises to almost 11 hours a day—every day. Teens spend as much time (or more) with their media as parents do at work. Add in school and sleep, and it’s amazing how little time is left for a family to be a family.
Shouldn’t “My house is your house” be the guiding principle in how we treat foreigners?
Earlier this year when I was preaching in California, a woman came to the church altar and asked me for prayer. She spoke with a thick Spanish accent. Her tears had already streaked her mascara, and she was trembling. In between her sobs she told me that her husband, who is not a U.S. citizen, had been deported to Mexico—leaving her and their four children behind.
This woman is a U.S. citizen, but her husband had been standing in line for 10 years to get his papers. As is often the case with Mexicans, bureaucracy offered him no compassion. Now a family is split up. The land of the free and the home of the brave slammed its doors on a Christian brother.
This breaks my heart. I hope it breaks yours.
I’ve never understood why Catholic and liturgical churches mark this key event in church history while few Pentecostals even know its significance
An email I recently received touted the power of social media to affect change. It bragged how “worthy” causes such as improving working conditions overseas, helping to keep someone from being deported, publicizing the problem with bullies in school and so forth were advanced through social media. But what caught my attention was this line: “These victories are amazing on their own. But we’re even more excited about the potential they represent: We’re living in a time where anyone, anywhere, can use the Internet to change the world.”
Sounds good—changing the world. The culture believes people working together can affect change through technology. But the real power for change isn’t in social media. As powerful as it is, it will be trumped someday by another source of change more powerful. The real power is the power of the Holy Spirit.
That’s what charismatics and Pentecostals believe—at least in theory. But do we really believe it? If we did we’d be as quick to publicize it as those who believe in social media do.
Watch Reinhard Bonnke shatter traditional teachings about the anointing, “double portions” and fresh fire by visitinganointing.charismamag.com.
Rise of the Hispanic Evangelical Church
Samuel Rodriguez, a leading voice for Hispanic believers, offers a snapshot of the growing Latino evangelical church and explains what it means for America as a whole. To learn more, visit Hispanic.charismamag.com.
Growing Great Kids
Watch an exclusive Charisma interview at kateb.charismamag.com with Kate Battistelli as she discusses key principles needed to raise godly children.
A Guaranteed LIFE-CHANGER
Watch Jim Cymbala share miraculous stories of how the Holy Spirit’s power has dramatically changed lives (including the life of renowned “Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz) at cymbala.charismamag.com.
As a 15-year-old Daniel King was inspired to set a goal larger than most could even dream. He’d read a success book that told him to aim for earning $1 million by age 30. But King, who grew up on the mission field, set a different goal: to see 1 million souls saved by the time he was 30.
“Instead of trying to become a millionaire I wanted to lead 1 million ‘heirs’ into the kingdom of God. And God started opening up doors,” he said.
At 28, just two years shy of his 30th birthday, King led his 1 millionth heir to Christ during a crusade in Haiti. Though most Christians never witness such a feat, it was only the beginning for King. Now 33, the evangelist has set a new goal of leading 1 million people to Christ every year.
King is feverishly working to reach this new objective in places such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Sudan, Ethiopia and other nations in the 10/40 window, where the message of Christ has never been heard. His crusades consistently draw tens of thousands, and his efforts to train local pastors have resulted in planting 14 house churches with 70 people or more attending each.
“For me it’s an awesome privilege to go to these places and tell people about Jesus,” King says. “They’re so hungry for the gospel, and when you go to a nation and you see thousands and thousands of people who want to hear about Jesus, you see how powerful the message of God’s love really is.”
On the Rise
“God is·supernaturally·raising up a movement of young people like I have never seen in 27 years of student ministry—ever. It is as if the Spirit of God is just beckoning this to happen.”···—Jay Mooney, after the Converge21 USA conference, where young people and church leaders fervently prayed for and discussed the future of the Holy Spirit-empowered movement.
“I believe Charisma continues to play a crucial role in bringing insight and unity to the body of Christ.”
—Bessie Watson Rhoades
Revival for the Long-Haul
Charisma has been a staple since my conversion in the 1970s. I so appreciate how you continually morph and rebirth the magazine. I believe Charisma continues to play a crucial role in bringing insight and unity to the body of Christ. Thanks for stretching me again with the March issue. We need the truth about revival today. It’s not just for a few wacky zealots in it for the short haul; it’s for every committed, rooted Christian serious about our mandate to heal the sick, raise the dead, preach the gospel and make disciples.
Bessie Watson Rhoades, Cleveland
Stop the Fighting!
Marcus Yoars’ editorial, “Have We Become Armchair Revivalists?” (March) was excellent! My heart is saddened because so many fellow Christians do not participate in any move of God yet roundly criticize those who are blessed and changed by a move of God. I long for the church to be one in spirit and in truth, and for us to quit all our hateful bickering and backbiting.
Elaine Beachy, Manassas, Va.
How Divine was Jesus?
I have enjoyed Charisma for many years. However, I’m confused and disappointed by some statements pastor Bill Johnson made in “You’ve Got The Power!” (March). He claims that Jesus “emptied Himself of His divinity. ... It’s vital to note that He did all His miracles as a man, not as God.” The Philippians passage that Johnson cites never says He gave up His divinity. He did give up some of His majesty to become human, but if we take in the whole counsel of the Word, Jesus performed all His miracles as 100 percent God and 100 percent man. Christ the God-Man is a mystery, and we must handle the mystery with care.
Melisa Morse, via email
Missing a Hunter
I noticed in your March issue you left out one very powerful healing ministry: that of Joan Hunter, whose parents were Charles and Frances Hunter, aka “the Happy Hunters.” I’ve been in Joan’s meetings where there are multiple healings and instantaneous miracles! Your issue was good but missing Joan Hunter.
I believe that God wants every Christian man to be sexually successful. He desires all of us to enter into the holy of holies where spirit, soul and body intimacy occurs with your wife on a regular basis. His desire is to equip each one of us with the skills to be spiritually and emotionally intimate outside of the bedroom so that we can be sexually successful inside of the bedroom.
Are you wondering what a sexually successful man is and how you can become one? Let me be perfectly clear. Sex is by far one of God's best ideas! Don't you agree? I imagine the Creator could have made procreation a behavior that brought little pleasure and only engaged our bodies, completely detached from the wealth of a soul and spirit experience. What a bummer sex would have been if that were the case.
Thankfully our Maker decided to be very creative concerning our sexuality. Not only does your body go through the greatest physiological changes, but when engaging successfully in sex you also experience the highest chemical reward possible for your body.
As a therapist, I have counseled with thousands of men regarding sexuality issues. During this time, I have learned that many men are not sexually successful. I have "clocked in" years of my life listening to men as they share varied stories of their lack of sexual success. These men and their wives want to be sexually successful, but even after several decades of marriage, they have not achieved sexual success.
Mention the name Martin Scorsese and the image of rough-and-tumble movies (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas) pops up.
So when my wife, 10-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter sat down to watch Hugo on DVD together, I was excited because this was the first family-friendly Scorsese flick ever! I was not disappointed. We were riveted. Even my youngest, who is normally squirmy, and up and down and up and down was glued to the couch.
Based on Brian Selznick's 2007 novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the story centers on 12-year-old Hugo (Asa Butterfield, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)—an an orphan living in the bowels of a busy 1930s Paris train station.
Hugo fixes things and keeps the train station clocks running for his uncle—skills he learned from his father (Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes), a clock maker and tinkerer. The only thing that Hugo has left that connects him to his now-dead father is an automaton (mechanical man) that doesn't work without a special key, which he doesn't have. Hugo needs to find that key to unlock the secret he believes it contains.
It appears Mitt Romney has virtually won the GOP race for the nomination. Therefore, it’s time to focus on the race between him and President Obama for 2012. From now until November, I’ll occasionally write about the candidates from a media perspective, so I’ll start here with a couple of recommendations. This isn’t about ideology, it’s about perception and how the candidates engage the media. Here’s one bit of advice each could use:
Sanford, Fla., pastors stood united on Friday morning in front of Holy Cross Episcopal Church to declare unity among local clergy.
More than 20 pastors crossed ethnic and denominational lines in a pledge to work side-by-side to bring healing and reconciliation to the community in the wake of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.
“We call not on our city but on our state and our nation to work toward reconciliation,” said Rory Harris, pastor of Holy Cross Episcopal Church. “There are certain things we need to deal with. There is work to be done. We have to get past this and move forward.”
The Muppets have not seen the big screen since 1999's Muppets from Space, so Jim Henson's lovable creatures were long overdue to return to the cineplex.
In The Muppets, a fan named Walter (voiced by Peter Linz, It's A Big Big World) is on a backlot tour at the old Muppet Studios while on vacation in Los Angeles with his brother, Gary (Jason Segel, How I Met Your Mother), and Mary, Gary's girlfriend (Amy Adams, Julie & Julia).
No longer in business, the Muppets have all moved on—scattering to the ends of the earth to pursue their dreams, leaving the studio to slowly rot in disrepair. After sneaking off during the tour to take a closer, unauthorized look at Kermit the Frog's former office, Walter is almost discovered by ornery, disagreeable old Muppet characters Stadtler and Waldorf as they conduct the surreptitious presale of Muppet Studios to oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper, The Bourne Supremacy) who, unbeknownst to them, has discovered oil under the property and plans to tear the studio to the ground and drill.
After Walter informs Gary and Mary of the plot, they decide to go find Kermit and tell him of the impending sale. Kermit decides that if they can put on one more show and raise $10 million, they could make enough money to save Muppet Studios. All they have to do is round up the rest of the Muppets. The Great Gonzo is the CEO of Gonzo's Royal Flush, where they make toilets. Fozzie Bear performs in a Reno casino with a group of Muppet impersonators called the Moopets. Animal works at a celeb anger management center. On the other side of the pond, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor for Vogue Paris a la The Devil Wears Prada.
Can they pull together a show in time to save the old theater? Hilarity ensues. We've all grown up with The Muppet Show or its reruns. We know what to expect. This is classic Muppets, and it doesn't disappoint. Yes, the humor is corny. Yes, there are Muppets flying through the air, crashing into things, explosions, comic fighting and general goofiness. If you're looking for serious, you won't find a drop of it anywhere in this tale.
Are you thirsty for a little adventure? How about a mysterious sunken ship? Maybe being kidnapped and loaded on to a freighter bound for ...? Want to attempt to refuel a single-engine airplane in-flight? From a bottle? And, even better—pirates.
If you answered yes, The Adventures of Tintin is your ticket. Based on a series of Belgian comic books from the 1940s, the story, set primarily in Europe, centers on Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell, King Kong), a young journalist famous for solving crimes.
The movie begins with Tintin—his trusty and amusingly perceptive dog, Snowy, at his side—perusing a local outdoor marketplace, where he spies a stunningly detailed model of an old three-masted ship set for sale. He haggles the price, pays for the man-of-war model and takes possession. Within seconds of purchase, a man with an unscrupulous look about him named Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig—the current James Bond) appears—offering a large sum in exchange. Tintin refuses the offer, setting him up for an adventure of intrigue, danger and treasure.
From the start, Tintin pulls you in with its seemingly non-stop action. As the starting credits roll, you are entertained by little animated snippets of Tintin and Snowy in some of their comic book adventures. These are fun, but when the show really starts, you forget all about the credits.
Initially, my brain had some difficulty with the incredibly detailed animation that director Stephen Spielberg was throwing at me. The Adventures of Tintin is Spielberg's first stab at motion-capture filmmaking, and with "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson working with him as second-unit director and producer, the film elevates the high-tech technique to a new level.
Reminiscent of the motion-capture treatment of The Polar Express, The Adventures of Tintin is a visual buffet of detail and realism with just enough tweaks to let you know it's not truly real. I actually missed some of the initial dialogue because I was concentrating so hard on the incredible realism before me on my living room screen. I actually had to start the DVD over to catch what I missed.
With a hint of Indiana Jones in its DNA, The Adventures of Tintin is a fun, fast-paced flick that any kid will enjoy, although some of the lines are above his or her head. You can tell that although the film garners a PG rating—for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking—it's really geared toward the teen and above crowd in the same way that Bugs Bunny jokes mean one thing to a kid and something totally different to an adult.
The Adventures of Tintin features a very strong moral, redemptive message with clear and allegorical Christian content, including references to St. John the Evangelist, light bringing truth and good defeating evil. Bonus features: Along with the DVD and digital and UltraViolet copies, the two-disc set includes a 90-minute, 11-part making-of documentary.
Content Watch: The Adventures of Tintin features some mild language and scenes of stealing by a pickpocket. Capt. Haddock (Andy Serkis, "Lord of the Rings" series) is a drunk, so there is a lot of situations where his alcoholism causes problems. His drinking is never glamorized, although it does drive some of the comedy. In fact, Tintin attempts several times to help him get sober. There is an obvious lesson on how alcohol can ruin a life.
Out of all the survival reality shows, Man vs. Wild—the Discovery Channel television series featuring Edward "Bear" Grylls—is my favorite.
I especially like Man vs. Wild because Bear, with his cool British accent, engaging personality and clever demonstrations with survival techniques when faced with nature's extremes, is a committed Christian.
Although Bear was recently let go from Man vs. Wild, that's a story for another time, my two older boys (10-year-old Alex and 9-year-old Andrew) and I still enjoy the show and the Man vs. Wild Game on the Wii.
The game offers in a role play-style adventure, which requires puzzle-solving tasks throughout five expeditions—stranding players in expansive areas of virtual wilderness and challenging them to make it out alive. The action begins when a player, as Bear, is dropped into extreme conditions and forced to demonstrate indigenous survival techniques such as escaping quicksand in the desert, exploring dangerous jungles, traversing ravines in the mountains and navigating some of the world's most treacherous waters.
I was disappointed when I missed Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close at the cineplex this winter, so I was eager to catch it on DVD.
Based on Jonathan Safran Foer's acclaimed 2006 best-selling novel of the same title, the movie tells the story of a 11-year-old boy Oskar (Thomas Horn) who lost his jeweler father, Thomas Schell (Tom Hanks), during what he calls "The Worst Day"—the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Oscar-nominated for Best Picture, although it failed to win, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a powerful drama that extols the bond between a father and son, family and forgiveness. A year after his dad died in the World Trade Center, Oskar, who has problems socializing and had been tested for Asperger's Syndrome, is determined to continue his vital connection to the man who playfully pushed him into confronting his wildest fears.
While looking through his father's closet one day, Oskar finds a small envelope marked "Black," with a key in it. Oskar decides the key must belong to someone named Black, and he starts a methodical search for the right person. "If there was a key, there was a lock," Oskar surmises. "If there was a name, there was a person."
His quest is an attempt to maintain his father's memory of his father, and to participate in the sort of mysterious search that his dad sometimes sent Oskar. "If you don't tell me what I'm looking for, then how will I ever be right?" Oskar asks his father. Thomas responds: "Well, another way of looking at it is how will you ever be wrong?"