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Evangelism, Super Apostles and Mixed-Up Priorities

After visits from three evangelists in four days, I figured it out. We've neglected the heart of our mission.

 

Something amazing happened to me last week during a ministry trip to Texas and Oklahoma. God sent three unexpected visitors over the course of four days to confirm something He is doing in the church today.

Last Thursday when I was speaking at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, my friend Sujo John called to say he wanted to drop by the campus and attend the conference with me. Sujo is a full-time evangelist who is originally from India. He surrendered to the ministry on Sept. 11, 2001, when he was buried under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

Gavel

Don't Let Judges Parent for You

My good friend Michael Farris has been a real advocate for parental rights. He is founding president and current chancellor of Patrick Henry College, which is training young lawyers from a Christian worldview.

Angered by recent court decisions that have chipped away at parental rights, Farris helped craft H.J. Res. 42, also known as the Parental Rights Amendment, which was filed last week by 71 members of the House.

Christian Bashing Is Alive and Well

In recent years, Christians have been subjected to a firestorm of hate crimes, much of which has been overlooked by the mainstream media. Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide, the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission and the Christian Film & Television Commission are conducting a joint effort to bring hate crimes against Christians to light and hold attackers accountable. Read the article from Ted Baehr below to see how you can support this effort.

Defending the Christian Faith and Faithful

The tragic church shooting and death of Rev. Fred Winters, pastor of First Baptist Church, Maryville Ill., has once again raised one of the most under-reported issues within the media today: violence directed at Christians and churches.

Fighting for a Healthy Conscience

As today is World Health Day, I thought you'd be interested in this item from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. See his letter below.

President Barack Obama is proposing regulations to strike or weaken current policies implemented by the then-Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Mike Leavitt. The policies protect the conscience rights of health care workers. Congress has passed numerous laws over the past 35 years protecting such rights; however, no regulations had ever been implemented until Jan. 20, 2009 when regulations were put into effect to defend the conscience rights of healthcare workers. These regulations, which President Obama is planning to rescind, would ensure that programs that receive federal funds, including federal, state and local government programs, do not discriminate against health care workers who object to participating in such practices as abortion and sterilization.

Harry Jackson

Black Millionaires Rock!

Over 30 years ago, I sat in a dorm room talking to a black, pre-law student from Detroit. As he glared at me, he said that it made more sense for us to think about being Republicans than Democrats because of the unique needs of our community in the 70s. That was out-of-the-box thinking at that time. Today this man is a successful investment banker, leading a powerful firm.

A few years later my first cousin, a Harvard Law graduate shared a vision of becoming a patent attorney and later a political leader.  He spoke of shaking things up and making a lasting difference in our nation. As a result of his hard work, he joined a prestigious law firm at age 25 and was elected to the Richmond City Public School Board the same year. At age 32, he became a partner at the firm. He was nominated for the Virginia Supreme Court at age 34 and elected the first black Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court at 47 years old.

The Fragrance of Christ

If you've ever gone to a public high school, you know there are different groups with which kids associate. Some groups are formed on the basis of social status, some on intelligence, some on common interests. But whether it's the wealthy, the brainy or the golf pros, within each group, certain individuals stand out. They are the popular ones, the ones people are drawn to. When they walk into a room or down the hall, there is always a crowd of people following them.

Why is this? Probably because they are more beautiful or more gifted or have more bubbly personalities than the rest. Whatever the trait, there is something that distinguishes them from everyone else.

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From Loss to Prophetic Fulfillment

Many of you have heard my family's testimony of overcoming barrenness. The Lord sovereignly healed my wife, Pam, in 1984. She immediately became pregnant, and pregnant again. However, we knew that the faith promise we had received in 1980 of having twins had never been fulfilled by the Lord.

Grand News: I'll Be a Granddad Soon!

A few times in life there is such great news that you want to tell everyone. Today is such a day. I've just found out my son Cameron and his wife, Maya, will make me a granddad next October. Maya went to the doctor today for her 12-week sonogram.



For me the only way to get out the news quickly is to share it with the 26,000 who read my Strang Report each week. So I hope you'll rejoice with me on this grand news, even though it's so personal in nature and not the usual commentary on social issues that I usually deal with.



Next week the Strang Report will begin coming out twice a week instead of just weekly.



And I now have a twitter account. If you were following me at www.twitter.com/sstrang, you would have received this grand news a few hours ago.



God bless you and have a grand weekend.



Steve Strang

Tony Perkins Responds to Obama's Invitation to Dungy

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama's invitation to Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, to join the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.



"I was pleased to hear that Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts, has been asked to serve on the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I may not be a sports buff, but I've always been a fan of men of character. Tony Dungy has been that for me and for countless Americans who admire him - not just for his victories on the field but in life. He has used his celebrity platform to promote adoption, prison ministry, family values, outreach to the poor, and simple Christian decency.

Tony Dungy

Obama Selects Tony Dungy for His Faith-Based Council

Though not officially confirmed by the Obama administration, U.S. News & World Report has verified that President Obama has invited former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy to be part of the President's Advisory Council for his Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. You can read more about here.

Click here to read Tony Perkins' response to Obama's invitation.

Other members of the council include:

Pastor Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, a Church Distributed
Orlando, FL

Richard Stearns, President, World Vision
Bellevue, WA

Obama Judge: "No" to Jesus, "Yes" to Allah

President Barack Obama's first judicial nominee, David Hamilton, is a former ACLU attorney, who as a federal trial judge issued a court ruling that said "No" to Jesus and "Yes" to Allah.

In 2005, this former ACLU activist ordered the Speaker of the Indiana House to immediately stop "sectarian prayers" at the opening of the legislative session. Hamilton ruled that prayers "using Christ's name or title" were unconstitutional. In a post-judgment motion for this same case, Hamilton ruled that prayers said to "Allah" were acceptable.

Late-term Abortionist George Tiller Acquitted, New Charges Filed

Just after a jury in Sedgwick County, Kansas, returned not guilty verdicts in the criminal case against late-term abortionist George Tiller, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBHA) released to the public a petition it filed in December listing eleven allegations against Tiller's license reports Operation Rescue.

According to a statement released by the KSBHA, "Violations alleged include performing an abortion on a fetus that was viable without having a documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated with him; unprofessional or dishonorable conduct or professional incompetency; and commitment of acts likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public."

Gay Miltary

Democrat Bill Will Overturn Military Policy On Homosexuals

San Francisco Values Democrat Ellen Tauscher (CA) has introduced H.R. 1283, the "Military Readiness Enhancement Act Of 2009." She already has 136 co-sponsors.


Her misnamed bill should be called the "Legalization Of Sodomy On The Battlefield and Barracks Act" to more accurately describe what the legislation will legalize.

The bill will amend Title 10 of the United States Code to replace the current policy on homosexuals with a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

This Easter, Show Them the Real Jesus

When millions of curious seekers crowd into America's churches on Easter Sunday, what will they find?

Millions of "Easter Christians" and other curious spiritual seekers will crowd into America's churches on the next two Sundays. Some will visit simply to "put in their time"—either in an attempt to ease their consciences or to please relatives. A few will see it as an excuse to buy and show off new outfits. And many will come out of genuine spiritual hunger.

A recent survey conducted by Lifeway Research revealed that 56 percent of Americans would attend a church service if invited by a friend. And while polls show that many older denominations are losing members, non-denominational churches are growing in many regions of this country at a brisk pace (along with non-Christian religions). Despite all the grim economic news we've heard this year, some trends indicate that we could actually be on the cusp of a spiritual awakening.

Revival Girl

Revival Begins With You!

Have you ever wondered why there are so many professing Christians in America, yet so few cities that have been truly transformed for Christ? Why, in prayer meetings and conferences, we passionately cry out for nations to be saved in a day; yet our local spheres of influence remain largely unchanged year after year?

The answer can be found by examining the historical seeds of past revivals. For example, legend has it that Jonathan Edwards, before the birthing of the Great Awakening, made a covenant with God. Standing on a riverbank, he cried out to God for revival in the land. Drawing a circle in the sand, he pledged that before God could take the city, the region, the nation, He must start here—and he pointed to the circle. Then Edwards stepped into the circle.

Evangelicals: They’re Not Endangered

During the last few weeks, there has been much discussion about the future of the evangelical movement and its impact on the American culture. For years, prophets of doom have been busy telling the world that the evangelical movement is dead or dying.  This year as President Barack Obama's administration has shifted the nation's stance on embryonic stem cell research and abortion, many in the faith community have justifiably become concerned. Further, RNC Chairman Michael Steele's decision to lower his personal and his party's vocalization of socially conservative issues, such as protecting the life of the unborn and preservation of traditional marriage, has left many evangelicals feeling abandoned by both parties.

What's next for evangelicals?  It seems to me that evangelicals are on the verge of finding their collective voice in a very new way. In the future evangelicals will seek to be more of a swing vote, placing pressure on both parties to advance a theologically conservative and fiscally conservative agenda. They will base these stances on a combination of biblical orthodoxy and common sense. The conservative movement would do well to attempt to re-build bridges behind the scenes with mature and developing evangelical leadership - especially in minority communities.

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God's Bailout Plan

There have been many discussions and actions this year concerning bailouts for companies and corporate America and for the banking industries. But we as the people of God must not forget that God is going to bail out His people and save them in the day of calamity.

Culture War Watch

I've gotten good response to my new format.  I've added a link to a page where you can put your comments on the overall column in addition to commenting on each article.  Each time we issue the Strang Report we'll try to bring you what I consider the most interesting timely news of what is happening in what some have called "the cultural wars," including spiritual, cultural and political trends.

You may be interested to know our company has its own social networking site at ChristianLife.com.  I invite you to try it out.  It is very similar to Facebook, only Christian. If you join, be sure to add me as a friend.  And if you tweet, you can follow me at twitter.com/sstrang.

Simplify Your Life

Indecision is a miserable state to be in and certainly is not a fruit of the simple life. Simplicity prays, seeks wisdom and decides. It doesn’t waffle. It sticks with the decision it made unless there is a very good reason to change it. The apostle James said the double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and will not receive anything he asks from the Lord.

How can God give us anything if we can never make up our minds concerning what we want?

Inevitably, our journeys through life bring us to many unavoidable decisions, and we will always get into trouble if we make them emotionally or according to what we think or want. God wants us to make wise decisions. I believe having wisdom is choosing to do now what we will be happy with later.

Dr. Alveda King: A Weekend of Injustice

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., commented today on the shooting of four Oakland police officers and the jailing of an Oakland pro-life activist last Friday.

"Four Oakland policemen were gunned down over the weekend while serving as protectors of human life," said Dr. King. "They will be forever heroes, victims of injustice. Only hours before they were struck down, however, another hero who tried to protect the innocent, Rev. Walter Hoye, was to a much lesser extent a victim of injustice as well.

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