I knew my mother was in heaven. Although I missed her terribly, what I missed most were her prayers.
For several weeks I'd felt mounting tension and nervousness in my stomach as Mother's Day, the day I dreaded, approached. Most Sundays, I travel to churches to sing and minister, but I had asked my husband to try and avoid booking this day because I didn't want to be in front of a congregation on the first Mother's Day without Mom.
Of the 12 children my mother had, I was the baby. She was 45 years old when I was born, and we were close up until the time she died.
Many people admit that it is a sacred duty and a blessed privilege to abide in Christ but shrink back continually before the question: Is a life of unbroken fellowship with the Savior truly possible?
Eminent Christians, to whom special opportunities of cultivating this grace have been granted, may attain to it; but for the large majority of disciples, whose lives, by divine appointment, are so fully occupied with the affairs of this life, it can scarce be expected.
After Mother went home to be with the Lord, the family held an estate sale of her possessions that had been sitting in boxes for years.
As I rummaged through the boxes of elegant china, laces and linens, one box in particular caught my eye. This one smelled musty, and a piece of straw was poking through the top. I pried it open with scissors and began to sneeze.
Don't lose hope if your son or daughter has special needs. God has a great plan for both of you.
When a child is diagnosed with special needs, it can be an overwhelming, even devastating event in a parent's life. My husband, Jack, and I know because our son Nicholas was diagnosed with autism in January 2001.
If you are the parent of a special-needs child, you've experienced the agonizing pain, shock and even hopelessness that can grip your soul with such a diagnosis. In the midst of what seems to be a "dark night," one question may be burning in your spirit: Where is God?
Beth Moore and Betty Robison discuss how important communication is in a marriage. Watch as they take a page from the book Living in Love, and explain how stopping, repeating and clarifying can help you and your husband communicate well.
Arguably the most highly anticipated movie of the year with a reported staggering budget of $220 million, Marvel's The Avengers finally hits theaters with lots of hype and hoopla—after two Iron Man films, two Hulk flicks with two different Hulks, plus Thor and Captain America movies.
So what can we say now that all those characters are together in one place in The Avengers? Believe the hype and hoopla!
The action starts as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his colleagues at S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) are protecting and collecting the energy of the Tesseract. A holdover from the Captain America movie, the Tesseract is a small, glowing blue cube with an unlimited source of energy and the gateway to different portals in space.
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.
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.