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Taking Care of Her Father's Business

Patricia Bailey boldly shares her message of faith in some of the most treacherous places on earth.

Missionary evangelist Patricia Bailey is not one to give up easily, especially when it comes to carrying out what she says is an urgent call on her life to fulfill the Great Commission. The vivacious 44-year-old has spent the last 20-some years ministering around the globe--from Europe to Africa to the Middle East. In recent years she has focused on regions closed not only to the gospel but also to women.

Patricia preaches salvation and deliverance and ministers in signs and wonders throughout the area known as the "10/40 Window"--the most populated yet least evangelized countries in the world. These nations encompass the majority of the world's Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. read more

Giving Your Weaknesses to God

Don't see your limitations as obstacles to God. Think of them as opportunities for Him to accomplish the impossible through you.

As I swerve in and out of traffic on Brooklyn's busy streets, it's hard to ignore the bumper stickers pasted onto nearly every car. If I ever put a bumper sticker on my car, it will probably read: "She doesn't know what she's doing; she just keeps doing it." That's the joke about me that circulates in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, the church my husband, Jim, and I have loved and labored in for the last 29 years.

But despite--or maybe because of--my many inadequacies, I've seen God do some amazing things. Sunday after Sunday, as I direct the 275-member Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, my eyes rest on a sea of faces--brown, black and white--each concealing a remarkable story. read more

Susannah Thompson Spurgeon

Susannah Thompson was born in 1832. Her early years were spent in London, where often she accompanied her parents to the New Park Street Chapel.

She was converted upon hearing a sermon taken from Romans 10:8: "The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart" (KJV). Recalling this experience she wrote: "The Lord said to me, through His servant, 'Give Me thy heart,' and, constrained by His love, that night witnessed my solemn resolution of entire surrender to Himself."

But Susannah soon became apathetic. She seemed unwilling to open up to others concerning her state--until she met Charles Haddon Spurgeon. read more

Turning Pain into Power

I remember vividly the day my entire world changed. It was January 24, 1997, the day my husband, James R. "Jamie" Peebles Jr., died in a car accident.

We were going to my mother-in-law's house, and Jamie was driving. Suddenly, he laid his head on my shoulder and said, "Pam, I don't feel well."

With the car still in motion, I threw the gearshift into park, jumped from the car and began screaming for help. The next sounds I heard were tires squealing and cars crashing against one another. read more

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Can I Get a Witness?

Most of us would agree that we are called to give testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ. But are we responding to the call?

The world is full of people who are dying. They are not dying for want of more sermons or Christian periodicals or religious stories or theories or creeds. They are dying for straightforward, honest, loving, earnest testimony about what God can do for souls. That's what they want.

Those poor men in the shops, in the theaters, in the dance halls--all of them, everywhere--that is what they want: somebody to come and take them lovingly by the collar and tell them that God is God and that He can save them. "He has saved me, my brother, and He can save you!" That is what the world wants. One word like that is better than a sermon, and it will do more for the salvation of the world.

It is time there was a change. The world is famishing for lack of real spiritual bread. It wants something to eat, and you give it a stone!

But God is raising a people who know what it wants and how to give it, who know how to testify to what God has done for them and to what He can do for other poor famishing souls; who can say: "Here, my friend, He can save such as you. I was like you once. I was a slave of sin--the slave of drink, or a blasphemer, or a liar, or a thief, or addicted to some bad habit worse than any of these. I was such a slave, and He has saved me.

He has broken my fetters and set me free. He has saved me, and He can save you." That is what the world wants: testimony witnessing.

Has He saved any of you? Are you testifying to your poor, famishing, sinking fellow-men? Do you ever look at them and think about where they are going? Do you pity them, love them, long after them in the bowels of Jesus Christ? Do you know anything of that longing?

If so, how can you forbear testifying? "Ye are my witnesses of these things," Jesus said, everywhere, at all times, among all people! (See Acts 1:8.)

It is in the nature of the case that a witness must witness before other people, before living hearers. That is the place to witness, and before enemies, and when he does not know which way the wind will blow, or how the words of God will be received. He must be a true witness, even if he has to seal his testimony with his blood.

This was the kind of witnessing the martyrs did. I often wonder whether there would be any martyrs now. Sometimes I think that the greatest boon to the church of Christ would be a time of persecution.

We would find out, then, whether you are willing to forsake all to follow Him. You know that if the martyrs had taken the standard of religious life that exists now, they would never have been martyrs. They would have looked after their own skins and left the Lord to look after the gospel. But they felt it necessary to be faithful right through, and when they could have gotten off easily, they refused to do it and went to the stake and let the flames lick up their blood.

Those are the witnesses the Lord wants--outside, everywhere, always at it. "Always?" you ask. Yes, always. Why? Because men are always dying and being damned!

Perhaps your friends and neighbors are among them. You get a phone call saying one of them died instantly of a heart attack. And the echo in your soul afterward is, "What I wouldn't give to go and have one talk with him!"

But he's gone! Where is he gone? If he were unwashed and unpardoned and unsaved--where is he gone? I got so wrought up once on this point that I almost lost my reason. I could not sleep at night for thinking of the state of those who die unsaved.

It was this view of the case that led me to open my mouth first in public for God.

I had long had a controversy on this question in my soul. In fact, from the time I was converted, the Spirit of God had constantly been urging me into paths of usefulness and labor that seemed to me impossible.

Some who have heard me speak would hardly believe that I was one of the most timid and bashful disciples the Lord Jesus ever saved. For 10 years of my Christian walk my life was one daily battle with the cross---not because I willfully rejected, as many do, for that I never dared to do.

I used to make up my mind I would, and resolve and intend, and then, when the hour came, I used to fail for want of course. I now see how foolish I was and how wrong. But for some four or five months before I commenced speaking, the controversy had been signally aroused in my soul that God had awakened years before, but that, through mistaken notions, fear and timidity, I had almost allowed to die out.

I was brought to very severe heart searchings at this time. I had not been realizing so much of the divine presence. I had lost a great deal of the power and happiness I once enjoyed. During a season of sickness, one day it seemed as if the Lord revealed it all to me by His Spirit. I had no vision, but a revelation came to my mind.

He seemed to take me back to the time when I was 15 and 16, when I first gave my heart to Him. He showed me all the bitter way, how this one thing had been the fly in the pot of ointment, the bitter in the cup, and had prevented me from realizing what I would otherwise have done.

I saw how it had hindered the revelation of Himself to me and hindered me from growing in grace and learning more of the deep things of God. After He showed it to me, I prostrated myself on my face before Him and promised Him there in the sick-room: "Lord, if Thou wilt return unto me, as in the days of old, and revisit me with the urgings of Thy Spirit that I used to have, I will obey, if I die in the attempt. I care not; I will obey."

About three months after that I went to the chapel of which my husband was a minister, and he had an extraordinary service. He was having a meeting in which ministers and friends in the town were taking part, and all were giving their testimony and speaking for God.

I was in the minister's pew with my eldest boy, then 4 years old, and there were some thousand people present. I felt much more depressed than usual in spirit and was not expecting anything particular, but as the testimonies went on, I felt the Spirit come upon me.I felt it to the extremities of my fingers and toes.

It seemed as if a voice said to me, "Now, if you were to go and testify, you know I would bless it to your own soul as well as to the souls of the people," and I gasped again and said in my soul, "Yes, Lord, I believe Thou wouldst, but I cannot do it." I had forgotten my vow--it did not occur to me at all.

All in a moment, after I had said that to the Lord, I saw the bedroom where I had lain, and I saw myself there prostrate before the Lord promising Him that, and then the voice seemed to say to me, "Is this consistent with that promise?" I almost jumped up and said, "No, Lord, it is the old thing over again, but I cannot do it," and I felt as though I would sooner die than do it.

Then the devil said: "Besides, you are not prepared to speak. You will look like a fool and have nothing to say." He made a mistake. For once, he overdid himself. It was that word that settled it.

I said, "Ah! This is just the point. I have never yet been willing to be a fool for Christ; now I will be one." Without stopping another moment, I rose up in my seat and walked up the chapel.

My dear husband was just going to conclude. He thought something had happened to me, and so did the people. We had been there two years, and they knew my timid, bashful nature. He stepped down to ask me, "What is the matter, my dear?"

I said, "I want to say a word." He was so taken by surprise, he could only say, "My dear wife wants to say a word" and sat down. He had been trying to persuade me to do it for 10 years. He and a lady in the church, only that very week, had tried unsuccessfully to persuade me to go and address a little cottage meeting of some 20 working people.

I got up--God only knows how--and if any mortal ever did hang on the arm of Omnipotence, I did. I just got up and told the people how it came about. I confessed, as I think everybody should when they have been in the wrong and have misrepresented the religion of Jesus Christ.

I said: "I dare say many of you have been regarding me as a very devoted woman, and one who has been living faithfully to God, but I have come to know that I have been living in disobedience, and to that extent I have brought darkness and leanness into my soul. I promised the Lord three or four months ago, and I dare not disobey. I have come to tell you this and to promise the Lord that I will be obedient to the heavenly vision."

The Lord, as He always does when His people are obedient, opened the windows of heaven and poured out such a blessing that there was not room to contain it. There was more weeping, they said, in the chapel that day than ever there had been before. Many dated a renewal in righteousness from that very moment and began a life of devotion and consecration to God.

Since that day, He has never allowed me to open my mouth without giving me signs of His presence and blessing. While the devil kept me silent, he kept me comparatively fruitless; now I have ground to hope and expect to meet hundreds in glory whom God has made me instrumental in saving.

Will you be encouraged, my sister? Never mind trembling. I trembled.

Never mind your heart beating. Mine beat nearly through.

Never mind how weak you are. I have gone many a time from the bed to the pulpit and back again.

It is not by human power, wisdom, might or strength; it is by My Spirit, saith the Lord. He loves to use the weak things, that the excellency may be seen to be of God.

We are talking about souls who are dying and going to an eternal death. Will you not rise up? Begin, and the Spirit of God will fall upon you, and you will overcome the devil "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [your] testimony" (Rev. 12:11, KJV).

Thousands will be won! "Ye are my witnesses," saith the Lord. "Witness of Me everywhere and always."

Catherine Booth (1829-1890) was the wife of the Rev. William Booth, the founder and commander-in-chief of the Salvation Army, and the mother of nine children. By nature shy and reserved, she eventually became a much-sought-after, powerful preacher. read more

Susanna Wesley Mother Of Methodism

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

Responding to the Patriarchal Spirit


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

Trusting God With My Life

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

Sunday Morning Circus


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

2009 Site Survey

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Traded Sickness for Help

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

Online Community

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.

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Still Pursuing God's Will


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

Carry the Banner

Many Christians don’t sense the need to get involved in the political process. But your opinions matter, and your voice needs to be heard.

We are living in an unprecedented period of our nation's history. Anyone with spiritual discernment would have to say that we are on the cusp of a national crisis.

Clearly, it is time for those with true godly wisdom to stand up, reclaim their voices and bring a resolve to the life or death decisions of our beloved America (see Prov. 8). read more

Singing God's Song 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

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