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It is imperative that the body of Christ accurately discern the times and seasons we find ourselves in. As the sons of Issachar, we too, must be aware of not only what God is doing at the moment, but we must be aware of what is looming before us.
I have been listening intently to what the Spirit of the Lord is saying for this hour. As we enter into 2011, I believe God in His goodness, is giving us insight and direction for the upcoming season.
My Egyptian friend Nadia*, who was raised in a Christian family in Cairo, has been glued to Twitter, television and various blogs since violent demonstrations erupted in her country two weeks ago. But she is also praying—and asking the Christian community in the United States to join her.
“For the church in Egypt, it feels like we are going through a spiritual birth canal,” Nadia told me in an interview this week.
It’s time for the Davids to arise with prophetic warfare strategies that bring God’s will to the land. That’s what rings in my spirit as I continue my news coverage about the crisis in Egypt from a natural and biblical perspective.
A recent article called for the prophets in the land to step forth and questioned why prophets in Egypt were so silent in such a critical hour. There could be any number of reasons why we’re not hearing much from prophets in Egypt. Maybe they are crying out in travail even now. Maybe fear has gripped their hearts. Or maybe their prophetic utterances just aren’t making it beyond the borders of the nation.
Whatever the case may be, I believe we should take the crisis in Egypt as a wake-up call. I believe God is more apt to speak to the prophets in the land who are actively praying for their nation in good times and bad. I believe in patriotic prophets who will stand in the gap for their nation and speak forth a prophetic word boldly whether it’s popular or not.
What if we were to use everything God has given us to reach our world?
Scientists have long known that we use only a small portion of our intellectual capabilities. Consider what might happen if we used just a little bit more--or even all--of our latent mental abilities.
Civilization would be much further along than it is now. Technology, inventions, science and medicine all would be more advanced. Education would be improved. Music and art would be drastically enhanced and more enjoyable.
Like you, I am greatly distressed about the situation in the Middle East. Below is a word to the Christians in the Middle East and the worldwide church, along with a prayer guide for Egypt and the Middle East.
There are certain things that I have not written to all, but I believe that the Muslim Brotherhood is behind much of this, or at least taking advantage of it. As you may know, Mubarak just announced today that he will not seek re-election. We must continue to pray for stability in Egypt, for a peaceful transition that will not result in leadership by the Muslim Brotherhood and Sharia law.
If you want to avoid becoming an old wineskin, make sure to keep these five hindrances out of your life.
I got some funny looks 11 years ago when I told people that I planned to be ordained in a mainline Pentecostal denomination. Most of my friends were supportive when I explained that I made this decision because I was looking for accountability and spiritual mentors. But critics told me I was aligning myself with “an old wineskin.” In their opinion, any church group that is more than 30 years old has outlived its usefulness and become a religious fossil.
I chose to reject the fossil argument—mainly because (1) I know God has the power to renew His people no matter how old their group is, and (2) even young organizations can become religious and ineffective, regardless of how trendy and culturally relevant they pretend to be.
February 1 is a significant day for our company. It's the day we drop the name "Strang Communications" which we have been using for nearly 30 years and go by our new name: Charisma Media. We've sent out "news releases" so you may have heard about this. But I decided to send this to you because I felt you would be interested.
I shared "my heart" in a column in the February issue of Charisma and told why, as the founder of this company, I feel led to make this change. The easiest way for me is to let you read my actual column below. And then below that is the press release we sent out which has the "who, what, when, where and why" journalistic angle to the story for those of you who are interested.
Almost 1,000 years ago, a rabbi in Germany wrote a poem amid what was probably the threat of mass execution for his entire Jewish community. Fast-forward hundreds of years and a portion of that poem wound up scribbled on the walls of an insane asylum.
Normally my yard does not crunch when I walk in it. So I got curious in November when I started hearing a distinctive crunching sound everywhere I went. I discovered that the oaks in Florida were producing an abundant crop of acorns—up to four times the normal amount, in fact. Acorns were everywhere—covering sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, filling gutters, and rolling around inside the chassis of my car.
I promptly christened 2010 the Year of the Acorn and began investigating why the trees were dropping so many of the hard, brown seeds. Were squirrels sending a distress signal? Could we use the acorns for food? (I imagined acorn-encrusted tilapia and acorn frappuccinos.) Or was this a sign of global warming?
Note from the author: As you read through these prophetic perspectives, know that they are exactly that—my perspective. While most of them are based on prophecies I have spoken, these perspectives in themselves are not prophecies. Again, they are simply my perspective on prophetic events.
It is not generally my nature to attempt to find prophetic meanings from every event or to pull meanings from names, numbers or other symbols. We could probably find a spiritual meaning in anything if we tried hard enough. My intention is only to point out perspectives from a few key events of the past year that coincide with things God is already voicing worldwide.
My friend Doug Crescimanno is my favorite amateur comedian. If you hang out with him for half an hour you feel as if you’ve been on the set of Saturday Night Live. (He’s at least as funny as Bill Hader or Fred Armisen.) But this 25-year-old University of Florida (UF) graduate, who lives in an apartment near the huge campus in Gainesville, Fla., is also passionately in love with Jesus—and he has given his life to sharing the gospel with students.
“People need God. They are hurt, broken, deceived, depressed and dying. We have the only solution. We can be used to give people life … and life abundantly!” --Doug Crescimanno
Doug earned a degree in advertising from UF, but he’s not pursuing a career in his field because he’s too busy evangelizing the campus. He sets up a table on the Reitz Union plaza four days a week and posts a sign that says “BIBLE TRIVIA!” He loads the table with Blow Pops and Jolly Ranchers and then invites students to play his game. The script goes like this:
The sin principle they established was forever passed to every person who would ever be born. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and to deliver us from them. He came to undo what Adam did.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He comes to live in our spirit, and if we allow that renewed part of us to rule our decisions, then we can overcome the sin nature. It doesn’t go away, but the greater one who lives in us helps us overcome it daily (see Gal. 5:16). That does not mean that we never sin, but we can improve and make progress throughout our lives.
Jesus wears a name that says, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Don’t mislabel His true identity.
I don’t have a tattoo, and I’m not planning to get any at this point in my life. However I’ve met many young Christians who have bought into the tattoo craze. I’ve seen hearts, crosses and Scriptures (English, Greek and Hebrew) on wrists, ankles, arms and necks. When I meet a young guy who has “JESUS DIED FOR ME” inscribed on his back, I don’t criticize his fashion sense.
Regardless of what you think about tattoos, you can’t ignore Revelation 19. I preached from this passage earlier this month when I spoke at a college in Georgia. I reminded the students that one of Jesus’ many names is written on His body. John said:
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True … He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. … And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” (v. 11,13,16).
Picture, if you will, the image of an unused dust-covered Bible. Now picture in your mind that this same dust-covered Bible is your Bible! This is not a good image to be sure, especially for a Bible-believing Christian in 2011. Sadly, many Christians now read more books about the Bible then they do the Bible itself.
Consequently, many in the church have gradually, and somewhat unknowingly become biblically ignorant, unaware or stunted. And doctrinally speaking, anything goes. There is now widespread acceptance of “marginal to heretical” doctrines. Just 25 years ago individuals would have been thrown out of the church if caught teaching these heresies.
What happens in our hearts and minds as we stand at the threshold of a new year is amazing. It’s as if we’ve been given a fresh new canvas on which to paint—a blank page—that provides us with a new, unblemished beginning in life. Suddenly we are inspired; our priorities and values become crystal clear.
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