Most historians consider John and Charles Wesley the two founders of the Methodist church. But behind these men stood a strong mother whose influence molded and shaped their destinies.
Susanna Annesley was born on January 20, 1669, in London, England. She was the youngest of 25 children.
Her minister father took special interest in Susanna and gave her rare opportunities for "formal" education. He also allowed her to take part in theological discussions with his minister colleagues. read more
IT IS GOD'S HOUR FOR THE RELEASE OF WOMEN IN EVERY ASPECT OF MINISTRY. BUT HOW DO WE PREVENT AGE-OLD GENDER BIASES FROM HOLDING US BACK?
Several years ago I sat in a meeting of pastors and leaders, waiting for my turn to speak. During the introductory message, one of the most influential pastors of the city shared on the topic of unity as a foundation for change in the city. What he had to say was very good, except for one thing--all his comments referred to men.
"We men need to love our city," he said. Another time he made the statement that "'the guys' need to step up to the plate and start reaching out to the lost." read more
Learning to trust God can seem impossible during the difficult times in our lives. I know because I have been there.
I have heard many stories of broken marriages being healed and restored by the power of God. My story is different. When my own marriage was in trouble, I hoped and prayed for reconciliation. But that never happened, and the marriage ended in divorce.
For a long time, I was in total despair. I carried feelings of guilt, shame and failure for not being able to save my marriage. Many times the hurt was almost unbearable. My sorrow seemed to drown out any encouraging words from family and friends. read more
Arriving home from work one day, I thought I was alone. God knew that I wasn't. Making my way to the back of the house to take a relaxing shower, I turned on the light in the hallway. I also turned up the volume on the radio to hear it over the running water and the exhaust fan.
As I stepped out of the shower, something in the hall caught my eye. I walked from the bathroom to the bedroom and flipped on the light.
To my utter horror a stranger was standing by my bed, a stocking over his head and a knife in his hand. Terror constricted my throat, but inside I heard, "Call upon Me and I will deliver you."
"Jesus!" burst from my lips, followed by "I bind you in the name of Jesus!" Immediately I ran down the hall. I knew my screams would not be heard over the radio, and I realized that I must get out of the house.
I reached the front door, but I knew I'd never get the security chain off in time. When I whirled around to face the masked intruder, he was standing two feet away. He raised his knife and bellowed: "I'll cut you in pieces. Go lie down!"
The calming voice of God told me to obey the authority of that knife for the moment. I whispered, "In Jesus' name I will lie down" over and over as I headed back toward my bedroom, assuming that the intruder was right behind me.
As I re-entered the hallway, I prayed, "Lord, I know it is not Your will that I die like this, and I don't know how, but I know You are going to save me." Entering my bedroom, I noticed the intruder was no longer behind me.
The Spirit of God told me he had left the house. After a few minutes I called 9-1-1. The police found the intruder's tracks under the window, where he had apparently broken in, and by the back door where he'd probably exited. The deputy was surprised I escaped unharmed.
All I could reply was, "Jesus did it!"
I've learned that prayer can carry us through not only daily needs but through deadly crises as well. Even if we find ourselves trapped in a corner, we have a prayer weapon to use in our defense–the name of Jesus. read more
IF YOUR HOUSE IS LIKE OURS, GETTING READY FOR CHURCH CAN BE A REAL ADVENTURE. HOW DO YOU SURVIVE IT ALL AND REMAIN IN THE SPIRIT?
Most days I am a Spirit-led woman, though I sometimes possess an exceedingly great capacity for distraction--and chocolate. I have great intentions always, but my willpower is often weaker than my want to. At no time is this demonstrated in a more dramatic way than on the first day of the week.
A typical Sunday morning will find our family preparing for church. Our goal to leave the house at 8:30 sharp is once again thwarted. A quick glance at the clock on the microwave reveals it's already 9:05. read more
While attending a prayer meeting in March 1988, I suffered a stroke. A battery of tests revealed that the cause of it had been a brain tumor.
During surgery to remove the tumor, some of my spinal nerves were severed, leaving me totally paralyzed on my right side. Problems with my equilibrium made me feel as though I were always falling; often I fell out of my wheelchair onto the floor.
My health declined to such a degree that I needed oxygen, breathing machines, inhalers and 15 different pills. I suffered respiratory and intestinal diseases, along with unbearable pain and migraine headaches. read more
In order to maintain our commitment to provide readers a safe, healthy environment to discuss ideas, Strang Communications has decided to shut down the Charisma forums. We value your part in our online community and invite you to become a fan on our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and share your comments to specific articles on our Web site. Thank you for being part of Charisma's forums; we sincerely hope you will continue your involvement through our other mediums.
HER MINISTRY BEGAN MORE THAN 50 YEARS AGO. TODAY, AT 80, GWEN SHAW SERVES AS THE VISIONARY LEADER OF END-TIME HANDMAIDENS AND SERVANTS, A WORLDWIDE ARMY OF WOMEN.
She's well past retirement age, walks with a cane, and needs a wheelchair to get through airports, but that hasn't stopped Gwen Shaw from ministering in cities and towns around the world--just as she has for the last 57 years. When interviewed for this article, the 80-year-"young" missionary--affectionately known as "Sister Gwen"--had just returned from a six-week trip to Spain and South Africa.
Sister Gwen's itinerary included Israel in September and lists the Congo in November and Hong Kong in December. In June she hosted the 29th annual world convention for her ministry, End-Time Handmaidens and Servants, a group of prayer intercessors and missionaries she founded in 1970 that is based in Jasper, Arkansas. read more
NOREN VANN KIM SAYS SHE HAS A "VOICE LIKE A FROG," YET THE LORD IS USING HER TO BRING THE ARTS BACK TO THE CHURCH IN CAMBODIA.
The next time you're in a mall or grocery store, look around you. Imagine that every woman over the age of 25 has lost a husband, brother, father or child.
That's the situation in Cambodia today, where death has touched every family because of the brutal regime of the communist Khmer Rouge during the 1970s. One of the millions of women affected by the holocaust is Noren Vann Kim. By the grace of God she has not only overcome immense tragedy, but also is helping others to find--and express--the joy of the Lord. read more
My mother was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease (HD), an incurable, genetic brain disease, in 1995. My siblings and I were told that each of us had a 50 percent chance of also carrying the HD gene and in turn passing it on to our children.
I was terrified. Seeing the changes in my mother was heartbreaking. But I knew God had a plan.
We were told that a test was available that could accurately determine whether we carried this fatal gene. But without a cure, it seemed ludicrous to consider. read more
TODAY'S FAITH-INSPIRED NOVELISTS HAVE CREATED A NEW LITERARY GENRE THAT IS FINDING BROADER ACCEPTANCE THAN EVER BEFORE
Christian fiction was difficult to find a few years ago. The category was limited to straight-laced prairie romances and wholesome historical titles by Janette Oke, Brock and Bodie Thoene, and Grace Livingston Hill.
But welcome to 2004, a time when Christian fiction continues to break sales records in today's tough economy. The American public--and not just churchgoers--are enjoying novels that offer a good story without all the sex and profanity that characterize modern fiction. read more
Although many people have no sympathy for those on San Quentin's death row, Josie Smith prays that these condemned men will know the love of God.
When Josie was a college student back in 1949, she felt a specific call to become a missionary. Little did she know how God would choose to use her.
Her interest in prison ministry began years ago when she and her husband, Dan, operated a home for delinquent boys called Outreach for Youth. It wasn't long before parents and friends of incarcerated men began calling and writing, asking the Smiths to contact a friend or relative. read more
When Barbara Brewton Cameron decided to put her personal pain to work, it brought healing to an entire community.
“God told me to rescue the children,” Barbara Brewton Cameron says. It's a matter-of-fact answer characteristic of the visionary 63-year-old pastor and community leader. “I could have been a statistic,” she continues, “but God told me what to do, and I sat up and did it.”
Barbara's bittersweet but, ultimately, triumphant story is intertwined with a once crime-ridden Charlotte, North Carolina, neighborhood called Double Oaks. This inner-city community was described in the news as “an open-air drug market of heroin and cocaine.” In the 1970s and early '80s, hearing gunfire became commonplace in and around the small, graffiti-marked houses. read more
One of my favorite Scriptures is Isaiah 40:31: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (KJV). Years ago those words were put to music, and I sang them and taught them to my children.
The song added the phrase, "Teach me, Lord / Teach me, Lord, to wait." I loved that passage, and I loved that song. I sang it all the time.
But I didn't think too much about what I was asking. Did I really want Him to teach me to wait? read more
Many women today are returnign to school for ministry training. Should you? Here's how to find the educational path that's right for you.
At the age of 56, Joyce Shankland went back to school. As a recently divorced grandmother, she didn't seem like a typical candidate. Two years earlier, her husband had left her for a 20-year old, and the following year had been a nightmare of pain as she worked through the grief of being abandoned by her husband of 36 years. During that time of grief, she endured a car accident, back surgery and internal bleeding.
But Joyce was undeterred. Ever since she had come to know the Lord at age 30, she had dreamed of being in full-time ministry. "I thought, Now is my chance, so in July of 1999 I came to Crossroads, a YWAM missionary training school on the island of Hawaii."
For years I prayed for a healing miracle for my eyes. From the time I was in junior high school I had worn corrective lenses for myopia (near-sightedness), but the condition had continued to worsen until my vision was no longer fully correctable. I could see, but not clearly.
In 2000 I heard about a new procedure that could reverse the effects of myopia and learned that I was a good candidate. In an amazing operation that took only about 10 minutes, my vision was restored to such a degree that I no longer needed lenses. I had received new eyes to see, and many things changed as I looked at the world differently.
A person who is totally blind in the natural can still have vision. Helen Keller (1880-1968), the well-known American lecturer, was both blind and deaf but was able to see past her darkness. Her life impacted the world as she accomplished things that were unbelievable for one with such a handicap.