CBN and 'Charisma': 'Despise Not the Day of Small Beginnings'

Steve Strang presented CBN's Pat Robertson with a momento for being part of Charisma's 40 "who radically changed the world."
Steve Strang presented CBN's Pat Robertson with a momento for being part of 'Charisma's' 40 "who radically changed the world."

Around the time Charisma began, I read Pat Robertson's autobiography Shout It From the Housetops. I was inspired by the story of his vision to buy a small UHF TV station in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1961, and how that vision has grown into CBN.

I remember relating to his famous quotation of the Bible verse: "Despise not the day of small beginnings." Little did I dream that when Charisma would come to be 40 years old that I would get to compare notes with Robertson about how small we each began. He said their income the first year was only $20,000. I told him our income the first partial year (7 months) was only $10,000.

That's because today (Friday, Aug. 21) I had the privilege of being on the 700 Club to talk about Charisma's 40th anniversary and to present Pat with a framed copy of the cover story we did in 1983 on him alongside the August 2015 cover with some of the other 40 leaders we profiled "who radically changed our world."

If you missed that interview, it airs tonight on the ABC Family channel or you can click here. I tried to give God glory for 40 years in which He has done "exceeding abundantly more than I can ask or think." I also told the 700 Club viewers if God can use a newspaper reporter like me, He could use them. I've been getting texts and emails all day. Leave your comments below if you saw the show.

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Later over lunch, Robertson and I talked over a wide range of issues from the time I interviewed President Barack Obama to how both of us have survived prostate cancer. I recorded about 20 minutes that I'll send out next week as podcasts on The Strang Report.

We discussed the culture wars, the economy and how he prayed for the Lord to show him how "things work," which resulted in insights he put into his book Secret Kingdom. In that book, he shared universal laws that have become guiding forces in my life, like the law of use. Being with him inspired me to reread that book.

We've known each other for slightly more than 30 years. I've considered him a mentor from afar mainly by watching his career develop and reading his books.

We also talked about how he's going strong at age 85 and how both CBN and Regent University are experiencing phenomenal growth. This explosion of growth is unusual for institutions as old as they are. I asked him his secret and he told me. (I intend to take that home and apply it in my organization. If it works for us, I will share the secret with you later.)

If you missed the article we ran on Pat Robertson, you can read it here. Have you been impacted by Pat Robertson or CBN? If so, leave your comments here.

Steve Strang is the founding editor and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook stephenestrang.

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