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
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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