Showing posts with label Charisma News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charisma News. Show all posts

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Supernatural Secret to Fulfilling Your God-Given Destiny - KAY HORNER CHARISMA NEWS

(Photo by Dru Kelly on Unsplash)

The Supernatural Secret to Fulfilling Your God-Given Destiny

KAY HORNER  CHARISMA NEWS
The young woman standing before us was very beautiful, gifted and articulate as she shared her passion and vision for ministry. Many in the conference that week had been drawn by her smile and warm personality as they engaged in networking opportunities for national ministry initiatives.
No one would have guessed she had battled to overcome a very difficult childhood and young adult life, which had severely impacted her ability to enjoy a deeply personal love relationship with her Lord. Her transparency and vulnerable sharing in the last session of our meetings were met with many loving friends gathering around her to pray for God's healing and full restoration.
Regardless of how we look on the outside, the size and scope of our ministry or the crowds of people surrounding us, each of us may struggle at some point in life with damaged love receptors. Our archenemy Satan is keenly aware that if he can distance us from the love of God, we will be unsuccessful at loving ourselves or others, causing us to lose heart. No doubt, that's why Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers:
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God (Eph. 3:14–19, NLT).
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We have the potential to be dynamic and effective servants in the kingdom of God. He longs to move us from a place of isolation and loneliness to experience the fullness of life and power found only through being deeply rooted in His forever love.
God's love for us is not some fleeting infatuation that's here today and gone tomorrow. He allowed His Son to be mocked, ridiculed, slapped in the face, spit upon, cruelly beaten, stripped bare and crucified on a cross to purchase His treasured children. As Christ was preparing to wash the disciples' feet just before He went to the cross for them, the beloved disciple John recorded for us, "Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love" (John 13:1, NIV). God Incarnate, Immanuel—God with us—not only stooped to wash our feet but died to atone for our sins.
It all sounds too arrogant and amazing to believe that Abba Father would surrender heaven's best for earth's worst, but what is the alternative. We certainly couldn't imagine that it was our goodness rather than His grace or our merit rather than His mercy! Believing in His great love for us is not nearly as arrogant as believing anything else.
In The Message, Eugene Petersen paraphrases the last half of 2 Timothy 1:9 in this way: "We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it."
What transformational power we will experience if we not only embrace but daily become more deeply rooted in and captivated by this multi-dimensional love!
The secret to fulfilling our destiny and growing to spiritual maturity is to be more deeply rooted in the soil of the unknowable, unsearchable love of God. Comprehending Christ's love does not come naturally but supernaturally. It is an unending process because it is unknowable. As our capacity to receive and share His love grows, He keeps filling us again and again.
One of our greatest hindrances is defective receiving mechanisms that have become damaged or totally dysfunctional.
  • You may have grown up in a home where love was nonexistent or rarely if ever expressed.
  • You may have known only anger and abuse before coming to Christ.
  • Your love receptors may have been damaged by bias and prejudice, or cruelty and isolation.
  • Perhaps you struggle with the pain of loss, bitter disappointment and broken relationships, resulting in battered hearts.
  • Many may bear biological father/mother wounds or suffer with spiritual lesions of the heart that were caused by religious/church leaders.
  • Or you may have simply found yourself in a dry, barren place for so long, you wouldn't recognize a God embrace if it knocked you off your feet.
The extravagant, demonstrative love of God defies description and has the power to expand wide enough to draw you into His embrace. It is long enough to reach you no matter how far you may run and try to hide. Christ came down from the highest heavens to reach into the depths of your soul and repair every damaged receptor cell of your heart.
God's love is not linear or limited but voluminous and overflowing. Holy Spirit does not want you to experience a temporary emotional touch, but He desires for you to develop a deep root system that goes down into the soil of God's Word and allows you to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God!
How full is that? It's incomprehensible! His love is not a stagnant pond or even a flowing river. Christ's love is a limitless spring of living water that flows from the throne of God. Throughout eternity, we'll never fully know, nor will we ever exhaust the immensity of His love.
The prophet Isaiah, prophesying of Christ, said He would heal, liberate, comfort, beautify, bring joy and clothe us in praise, so we "might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified" (see Isa. 61:1–4 and Luke 4:18–19).
The world's tallest tree is the California redwood, which can easily grow to a height of 300 feet. Redwood tree roots are very shallow, often only five or six feet deep. Yet they compensate for it in width, sometimes extending up to 100 feet from the trunk. They thrive in thick groves, where the roots can intertwine and even fuse together. That is part of our strength in the kingdom of God as we love and support one another, but we can't survive on this love alone. In fact, our greatest strength is born in God's deeper love for us and our reciprocal love for Him.
There is another tree that grows in South Africa's dry, desert environment which stands 20 to 30 feet tall, but its root system is at least six times that long. The roots can reach as far down as 223 feet, making them the deepest known roots in the world. They are powerhouses at sucking up water and nutrients. It is also nicknamed the "tree of life" because nearly every part of it is useful to humans and animals. The name of this impressive tree is the shepherd's tree!
Allow the Holy Spirit to deeply root you in the Shepherd's love, so that you might extend His love and support to others all around you—inside and outside the church walls! 
Kay Horner formerly served as ministry projects coordinator for the Center for Spiritual Renewal, the spearhead organization for the 2006 Azusa Street Centennial. Currently, she is executive director for the Awakening America Alliance and The Helper Connection, a ministry for pastors' wives and women ministers. She is the author of The Christmas Dance and contributing author in Praying with Jesus and Cry Out to the Lord.
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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Prophecy: 'God Is Restoring the Dignity of Prophets in Our Time' - JAMES W. GOLL CHARISMA NEWS

People are hungry for spiritual truth. (fotorech/Pixabay.com)
Prophecy: 'God Is Restoring the Dignity of Prophets in Our Time'
JAMES W. GOLL 
CHARISMA NEWS  Aug. 24, 2019
I was sitting on a plane, and I had about 20 text messages come through, each one a more important testimony or story than the last about how different friends had encountered actual prophets in our day who gave them prophetic words.
These words all had stories attached, and each prophet had brought different people into a place of great authority and connection in their sphere of society. Each one was a testimony of how the prophet had affected their life and how the outcome was forever different because of the word they had received.
I was so excited because it wasn't just spiritual encouragement. I heard them talking about different men and women whom God is raising up or has raised up as prophets and how prophets are alive and well in our time.
I then heard clearly in my spirit that God is restoring the dignity of prophets in our time.
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Who Are Prophets, Anyway?
Prophets in the Old Testament were the most sought-after people when anyone faced transition, crises or national purposes in Israel and beyond.
The prophets were the hosts of God's thoughts, and when people met with them, this omnipresent God made an appearance through His prophets in a way that proved that He cared very deeply about those who sought after Him.
In the New Testament, we see the prophets carry another equally important role—to help establish God's kingdom in all the world.
They were the ones who helped the rest of Christians navigate their revelation and prophetic journey.
The world is so hungry for the divine counsel of the Holy Spirit. When you meet with Him, what normally takes a year of counseling, an expensive business coach, a life coach or an educational process can happen in a moment.
Counterfeit Prophets
Think about the multi-billion-dollar industry of psychics, new age, mediums and the occult.
Why are they so present in society?
Because people are looking for spiritual guidance.
People are hungry for spiritual truth that they can apply to their pain, their careers, their identities.
This is such a counterfeit to the ministry of prophets, who bring a connection to God's original plans and intentions in real time through the Spirit of God. And He does it free through His prophets!
James W. Goll is the president of God Encounters Ministries and has traveled around the world sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding study guides and is the author of more than 40 books, including The Seer, The Lost Art of Intercession, The Coming Israel Awakening and The Lifestyle of a Prophet. James is the father of four wonderful children with a growing number of grandchildren, and makes his home in Franklin, Tennessee.
For the original article, visit godencounters.com.
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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

Monday, August 19, 2019

What Many Misunderstand About Jesus' Humility - MICHAEL YOUSSEF CHARISMA NEWS

Those who only see Jesus as the gentle Lamb of God forget that He is also the fierce Lion of Judah. (designerpoint/Pixabay.com)

What Many Misunderstand About Jesus' Humility

MICHAEL YOUSSEF  CHARISMA NEWS
Those who only see Jesus as the gentle Lamb of God forget that He is also the fierce Lion of Judah. When Jesus said, "I am meek and lowly" (Matt. 11:29), He did not mean that He is soft, timid or weak. Rather, He is power under control.
Christ's humility reveals much about His matchless power and extravagant love. When He took on flesh, Jesus restrained His power—power that can create from nothing and utterly undo everything—choosing instead mercy and grace. When tempted, He remained without sin. When spat upon, He did not retaliate. Knowing His disciples would forsake Him, He washed their feet. What takes more power than to leave the glory of heaven and come to earth to save and serve undeserving sinners?
Don't misunderstand: Jesus also had moments where He expressed righteous anger. He rebuked the Pharisees for their legalism. He overturned the tables of those who had turned His Father's house into a marketplace. Whenever we see Jesus respond in anger, it is always righteous, always appropriate.
Jesus is not a passive teacher, a detached guru or a peace-loving hippie. In Revelation 1:12-18, we read that the glorified Christ has eyes of blazing fire, feet of bronze, a voice like rushing waters, a face like the sun and a sword coming out of His mouth. This image made the apostle John fall at his feet as though dead—and it should fill us with awe and wonder that such a great and holy God would give His life for us.
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Prayer: Lord, You are the Lion and the Lamb, holy and humble, just and merciful. Thank You that You care for me—that You exert Your power for my good out of Your grace. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"[H]e made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, ... Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name" (Phil. 2:7a9, ESV). 
Dr. Michael Youssef is leading the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ. By passionately proclaiming uncompromising Truth through creative methods, Leading The Way's international team of experts is uniquely providing hope that is revolutionizing lives here at home and around the world.
For the original article, visit ltw.org.
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Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

What to Do When You Doubt God's Plan for Your Life - KENNETH REID CHARISMA NEWS

Doubting God is a crucial part of our faith. (danymena88/Pixabay.com)

What to Do When You Doubt God's Plan for Your Life

KENNETH REID  CHARISMA NEWS
Have you ever doubted God and His plan for your life?
Ever since I was about 5 years old and asked my parents, "Where did God come from?" asking questions has played an important role in my faith. I think that's the case for a lot of us. And ever since our parents answered with the most spiritual sounding version of "I honestly don't know" that they could come up with, uncertainty has been a big part of our faith too.
Questions are how we explore truth. And uncertainty is often just a reality that we all have to live with. But doubting God is different. Doubt is what happens when you ask a question and the answer doesn't satisfy, clearly define or measure up to your expectations. Doubt makes a lot of us feel very uncomfortable.
It makes those of us who tend to not ask many hard questions want to change the subject or just shrug their shoulders and happily concede, "I don't know, but God does, and that's all that matters." And it makes others of us who really struggle under the weight of unanswered questions feel like bad Christians for not having enough faith.
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Let's stop pretending we have it all together.
Christian conversations often sound a lot like automated emails. We have preprogrammed auto-replies that are triggered when certain things are said or certain questions are asked. You've heard these auto-replies before, I'm sure. Maybe you've even said them yourself.
"God doesn't give you more than you can handle."
"You can do all things through Christ."
"You just have to trust Him. He knows what He's doing."
These well-meaning responses often communicate something very different than intended. They cause many of us to see Christianity as a religion full of people who always seem to trust God completely and know just what to say in every circumstance. When we experience this enough, we begin to feel like something is very wrong with us when we struggle with doubting God. So instead of being honest about it, we keep quiet.
People don't need you to be strong. What people really need is for you to have the courage to be vulnerable about your struggles.
After all, we don't want anyone to think we don't trust God.
We think no one else struggles with doubt like we do, so doubting God and His plan is even more difficult to reveal to others.
Ultimately, we are not honest about our doubts because we're afraid of being judged. We'd rather look the part of a picturesque believer, even if that means pretending we have faith than being an honest believer with real questions.
We do this because we feel alone.
We think we're the only ones wrestling with doubt. But the truth is we're not alone. We have doubt, just like everyone else; we act like we have more faith than we really do, just like everyone else; and we refuse to be honest about it for fear of being judged, just like everyone else.
But people don't need you to be strong. What people really need is for you to have the courage to be vulnerable about your struggles. They need you to be an honest Christian who is willing to take a risk and say, "I'm really struggling here. I don't have an answer, and while I'm striving to trust God, it's hard to hold on."
Ultimately, we are not honest about our doubts because we're afraid of being judged.
Honesty breaks others' walls down and helps them know that their struggles are normal. When we are honest about our struggles, it gives other people the freedom to be honest too. And when one person is vulnerable, others usually follow suit.
Honesty, gives God more to work with.
But we can't just be honest with each other. We have to be honest with God, and doubting God is a crucial part of faith.
God certainly isn't afraid of or offended by your questions. He isn't an insecure dictator who wants obedience without questions. He is a loving Father who wants you to trust Him with sincerity like any child should. So He welcomes our questions and doubts.
There was a man in the Bible who desperately needed a miracle from Jesus. When Jesus asked if the man really believed He could help, the man said, "Then I believe. Help me with my doubts," (Mark 9:24, MSG).
It is honesty, not a "fake it till you make it" attitude, that can truly lead to peace. 
Ken Reid is a writer who inspires people to throw away their masks by being honest about his own doubts, fears and failures. Follow him on Instagram and find more great content at HonestChristian.org.
LightWorkers' mission is to create engaging, uplifting and inspirational content that breaks through the clutter, building a community of sharing and igniting a movement in the real world that motivates people to celebrate and share the good all around them. Please visit lightworkers.com.
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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Skillet Lead Singer: 'Stop Making Worship Leaders, Thought Leaders the Most Influential People in Christendom' - JENNY ROSE SPAUDO CHARISMA NEWS

John L. Cooper (Facebook/John L. Cooper)

Skillet Lead Singer: 'Stop Making Worship Leaders, Thought Leaders the Most Influential People in Christendom'

JENNY ROSE SPAUDO  CHARISMA NEW
In the past several weeks, two major Christian influencers announced publicly that their faith was not what it once was. I Kissed Dating Goodbye author and purity advocate Joshua Harris said he is no longer a Christian. And former Hillsong worship leader and songwriter Marty Sampson said his Christian faith is on "incredibly shaky ground."
As these well-known leaders move away from their faith, Skillet lead singer and songwriter John L. Cooper asks, "What is happening in Christianity?"
In a lengthy Facebook post, Cooper questions why these influencers are leaving the beliefs they once promoted so passionately. He also challenges believers to "STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or 'relevant' people the most influential people in Christendom."
Read Cooper's post in its entirety below:
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Ok I'm saying it. Because it's too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once "faces" of the faith are falling away. And at the same time they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?) as they announce that they are leaving the faith. I'll state my conclusion, then I'll state some rebuttals to statements I've read by some of them. Firstly, I never judge people outside of my faith. Even if they hate religion or Christianity. That is not my place and I have many friends who disagree with my religion and that is 100% fine with me. However, when it comes to people within my faith, there must be a measure of loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God.
My conclusion for the church (all of us Christians): We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or "relevant" people the most influential people in Christendom. (And yes that includes people like me!) I've been saying for 20 years (and seemed probably quite judgmental to some of my peers) that we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word. I'm not being rude to my worship leader friends (many who would agree with me) in saying that singers and musicians are good at communicating emotion and feeling. We create a moment and a vehicle for God to speak. However, singers are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine. Sometimes we are too young, too ignorant of scripture, too unaware, or too unconcerned about the purity of scripture and the holiness of the God we are singing to. Have you ever considered the disrespect of singing songs to God that are untrue of His character?
I have a few specific thoughts and rebuttals to statements made by recently disavowed church influencers ... first of all, I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, "I've been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it ... therefore I'm going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth." I'm perplexed why they aren't embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don't know where you are headed?
My second thought is, why do people act like "being real" covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That's not courageous. It's cavalier. Have they considered the ramifications? As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying "I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I've learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it." So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.
Thirdly, there is a common thread running through these leaders/influencers that basically says that "no one else is talking about the REAL stuff." This is just flatly false. I just read today in a renown worship leader's statement, "How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it." As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There's like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don't get the answer you want doesn't mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
And lastly, and most shocking imo, as these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their "new insight/new truth" that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus's words?! It's truly bizarre and ironic. They'll say "I'm disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others". Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature. No child is ever born and says "I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need". Those are bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the 'Kingdom of God' standard. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus's teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman. A lunatic who said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." He also said that he was alive before Abraham, and to see him was to see God because he was one with God. So why then would a disavowed christian leader promote that "generosity is good"? How would you know "what is good" without Jesus's teachings? And will your ideas of what is "good" be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, poplular [sic] opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I'm amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.
It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.
Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Further and further they are sinking in the sea all the while shouting "now I've found the truth! Follow me!!" Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers ... I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT. "The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8)
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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

U.S. Signs Deal to Purchase Iron Dome System From Israel - WORLD ISRAEL NEWS CHARISMA NEWS


(Pixabay/SpaceX-Imagery)
It's official. The U.S. Defense Department formally signed the contract to purchase two complete Iron Dome Systems from Israel, Defense News reported on Tuesday.
The contract was signed in the last few weeks, the site reports. Israel and the U.S. are currently in talks on transferring the systems to America.
"Now that the contract is set in stone, the Army will be able to figure out delivery schedules and details in terms of taking receipt of the systems," Defense News reports.
Iron Dome is meant as an interim missile defense solution for the U.S., but Defense News says it could turn into a permanent solution depending on its performance in the field.
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"While Iron Dome has been in operational use by the Israeli Air Force since 2011 and proven effective in combat, it should be noted that the U.S. Army will assess a variety of options for its long-term IFPC solution," the U.S said in February when the deal was announced.
IFPC refers to the Indirect Fires Protection Capability program, which is developing missile defense against a variety of threats.
The deal has been described as historic, marking the first time Israel has sold a standalone weapons system to the U.S., which typically fields weapons that are superior to other countries.
The Iron Dome, which is built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and co-developed with U.S. firm Raytheon, protects against incoming missiles by shooting them out of the sky.
Most recently, in May, facing a barrage of some 690 rockets from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the system achieved an 86% kill rate. Only 35 rockets and mortar shells got through to score hits, the IDF reported at the time. The rate might have been higher if Israel had more Iron Dome batteries at its disposal.
In February, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu said: "A great achievement for Israel, this is yet another expression of the strengthening of our strong alliance with the U.S. and an expression of Israel's rising status in the world." 
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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Global Spiritual Trend We Can't Ignore - J. LEE GRADY CHARISMA NEWS

House churches are certainly not a new concept. (FatCamera/Getty Images)

The Global Spiritual Trend We Can't Ignore

J. LEE GRADY  CHARISMA NEWS
Last weekend, I preached in a small but growing church in central Sri Lanka. There was no sign outside the building because it's a private residence located in a crowded neighborhood. Most of the people who came to this meeting either walked or arrived in motorized rickshaws, so no parking lot was needed. The worship team consisted of two young men playing guitars and a third guy on a box drum.
The small living room of this modest home had been transformed into a sanctuary, and the 40 or so people who came to worship sat on plastic chairs or on the stairway. I didn't need a microphone. This church doesn't use a sound system, a projection screen or fancy lighting. Yet God's presence was tangible, especially when several people stood to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The pastor of this congregation (I'll call him Siresh) works a regular job during the week—he doesn't take a salary from the church's limited income. That's fine with him because he wants to be in the marketplace all week, getting to know the community. He also regularly shares his faith when he plays cricket with a group of non-Christian guys.
Siresh doesn't expect his church to stay in a house forever. He plans to grow. But he also plans to train and release his members to start more new churches—in a Buddhist nation where churches were bombed by Muslim terrorists on Easter Sunday in April.
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Researchers say what Siresh is doing represents the future of the global church. In places like Iran, Algeria, India and China, thousands of ordinary people are starting small churches that don't fit the traditional mold. Most of them are not affiliated with recognized denominations, so it's impossible to count them. These organic church groups meet not only in homes but in coffee shops, offices, campus dorms, hotels, apartment building lobbies, front yards or under trees. And they are multiplying rapidly.
House churches are certainly not a new concept. Jesus had His first meeting with his disciples in a home (see John 1:38-39), the first Jewish believers of Christ met "house to house" (Acts 2:46) and the first Gentile church began in the house of Cornelius in Caesarea. But in recent years, missions researchers have noticed that non-traditional "disciple-making movements," or DMMs, are exploding around the world, especially in countries where Christians are persecuted.
This trend was best explained at first by David Garrison, a Southern Baptist who wrote Church Planting Movements in 1999 and A Wind in the House of Islam: How God Is Drawing Muslims Around the World to Faith in Jesus Christ in 2014. That same year, missionary strategist David Watson wrote Contagious Disciple Making. Both men did a masterful job of documenting this global church growth that is happening under the radar.
As I was worshipping with the small group of believers in Sri Lanka, I could sense that the Holy Spirit is calling the American church to study and learn from these humble foreign believers who have reclaimed a Book of Acts model. This doesn't mean our traditional churches should go away or that we all will stop meeting in church buildings. But the wind is shifting. Methods we used just 10 years ago have become embarrassingly ineffective. Our "box" may work for some people, but we need fresh strategies.
In the United States, we've developed a church model that discourages authentic New Testament discipleship. We assume that just because we have cool stage lights, huge projection screens and contemporary worship music, we are on the cutting edge of what God is doing. But the truth is we are stuck in an old-fashioned rut.
We are building monolithic, top-down structures instead of spreading the gospel outwardly in multiple directions. We are afraid to empower people to branch out into their own ministries because we need everyone to stay in their padded seats to support a system that is expensive and underperforming.
I suspect God is about to prune the Western church so we can bear more fruit. The Lord of the harvest wants His church to grow exponentially. Adopting these new methods will infuriate the religious establishment, but we can't allow status quo thinking to keep us in the box. We need new wineskins to reach our changing culture. Our brothers and sisters overseas have a lesson for us.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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Thursday, August 8, 2019

'Dark Forces' and Jezebel's Spirit Make Their Way Onto the Political Scene - MICHAEL BROWN CHARISMA NEWS

(Photo by Sebastiaan Stam from Pexels)
Even though she spoke for just under nine minutes in last week's Democratic debate, presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson was declared the "winner" by 47% of viewers via a Drudge poll.
Why? Her words were powerful, says author and national radio host Dr. Michael Brown, especially those referring to a "dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country."
"She was closer to the truth than she realized," Brown says. "Her talk of this 'dark psychic force of collectivized hatred' is right on track, only not in the way she imagines. More accurately, she should have spoken of a 'dark spiritual force,' one that I and others have referred to as Jezebel.' It is a spiritual force that is also working powerfully through the Democratic party."
Brown writes in his new book, Jezebel's War with America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide, that the evil spirit of the biblical figure Jezebel who lived 3,000 years ago is alive and well today.
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Released yesterday, Jezebel's War with America focuses on the fact that the spirit of the biblical figure Jezebel is at work through a fascination with witchcraft and sorcery, radical feminism coupled with the extreme pro-abortion movement, along with other spiritual and cultural forces in an attempt to destroy America. Brown's eye-opening book not only unveils a satanic plot, beginning with an all-out assault on the church, but it will equip every believer with tools to defeat the enemy in their own personal lives as well as in the nation.
"While there is certainly a rising tide of 'collectivized hatred' that the president has helped stoke, there is an ominous rise in this 'collectivized hatred' from the left as well," Brown says. "Ask yourself an honest question: Have you seen any hatred greater than the hatred expressed at the Women's Marches? Have you seen any hatred greater than the hatred expressed at the pro-abortion protests at the Kavanaugh hearings?
"That is the spirit of Jezebel, a wicked queen who died almost 3,000 years ago, the matriarch of radical feminism," Brown continues. "She—meaning a coalition of demonic forces—is behind this ominous, rising, dark, spiritual tide. According to the Bible, Jezebel was also a seductress, and today, there is an epidemic of sexual seduction through porn and the internet. No generation before ours had to deal with websites devoted to helping you find your adulterous partner. No generation before ours had to deal with elementary school children getting exposed to pornography. This, too, is Jezebel at work. She is driving this dark spiritual movement."
Let's not forget, Brown adds, that this wicked queen was a murderer, slaughtering the prophets and killing any who stood in her way. And, as a devoted idol worshiper, Jezebel was doubtless familiar with the horrific practice of sacrificing babies to these pagan deities.
"This murderous spirit lives on today in the 'Shout Your Abortion' movement, in the passing of laws that legalize abortion right up to the moment of delivery, in the defense of infanticide," Brown says. "In Jezebel's day, living, breathing babies were offered up on the altar of idolatry. Today, these precious lives are offered up on the altar of convenience and career. It is not hard to connect the dots. The same demonic forces that operated through Queen Jezebel 3,000 years ago are operating again today. The stage is being set. The conflict is upon us. Jezebel is being exposed."
Brown also points out that in the Bible, Jezebel is associated with sorcery and witchcraft.
"Is it any coincidence that, today, with the rise of radical feminism, we also see the rise of witchcraft, with some of these witches trying to put hexes on the 'patriarchy'?" Brown asks. "Is this not the spirit of Jezebel at work again? And it just a coincidence that, as of this writing, 6 out of the 10 most-read books on Amazon are Harry Potter titles? As 'innocent' as these books may be, they are still books glorifying sorcery and wizardry, with children as their target audience. And back to politics, soon after the debate, Breitbart reported that "'Witches' for Marianne Williamson Launch 'Occult Task Force." Need I say more?"
Dr. Michael L. Brown is founder and president of AskDrBrown Ministries and president of FIRE School of Ministry. The author of more than 35 books, including Saving a Sick America (2017), he is also the host of the nationally syndicated daily talk radio show "The Line of Fire," as well as the host of shows on GOD TV, NRBTV and METV. His syndicated columns appear on many leading websites, and his scholarly publications range from biblical commentaries to articles in Semitic journals and theological dictionaries. He has served as an adjunct or visiting professor at seven leading seminaries and has debated gay activists, agnostic professors and Orthodox rabbis on university campuses.
Jezebel's War with America by Dr. Michael L. Brown is released by FrontLine, an imprint of Charisma House, which publishes books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is His latest book is Jezebel 's War With America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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