On Feb. 17, 1967, exactly 50 years ago this month, a miracle happened near Pittsburgh that the world has largely ignored. It happened at a small Catholic retreat center called The Ark and the Dove, where a group of students from Duquesne University had gathered for a weekend of prayer. Suddenly, and without any warning, those students were baptized in the Holy Spirit.
“The gratification of the flesh and the fullness of the Spirit do not go hand in hand” (R.A. Torrey).
God must often feel like shouting, “Can you hear me now?”
Our country has always enjoyed lively political debate. But psychologists and sociologists have noticed that the 2016 election took the United States to a whole new level of polarization. The animosity is hot—and getting hotter. In fact, couples have gotten divorced and families have stopped speaking to each other because a massive chasm separates Red and Blue political platforms.
This year, five young friends of mine are getting married: Anibál met his future wife at his church in California, Vitaliy met his fiancée at Christ for the Nations Institute, KC found David on the mission field, Ben met Tiffany while studying at Regent University, and Doug—who has been waiting the longest for his bride—got engaged to Danya last week on his 32nd birthday.
My friend Matt Hyde lives in Boise, Idaho, a city that is 89 percent white. After he became the pastor of Discovery Church in 2013, he learned that refugees from many countries were living in Boise. They are from Bosnia, Serbia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nepal, Bhutan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Congo, Togo and Sudan.
Christian Freedom International supports President Trump’s executive order regarding refugee resettlement.
Last Saturday, one day after President Trump’s inauguration, a huge group of women in pink hats made history when they took to the nation’s streets to demand gender equality. Almost 500,000 women (and a few men) marched in Washington, and more than 600 smaller marches were staged in cities all over the world. There was no violence—which means, to their credit, these women behaved themselves as they took advantage of their right to free speech.
(NOTE: This article appeared and reflects opinions expressed on the day of the Trump Inauguration on Friday, January 20, 2017)
What a historic day in America. Today the inauguration of Donald J. Trump was bathed in prayer! And in his inauguration speech, the new chief executive called on God to protect us.
On January 20, Donald Trump, with his hand upon the Holy Bible, repeated this solemn oath: “I, Donald J. Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”
When President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in this Friday as our nation’s 45th president, he will stand in front of the U.S. Capitol and place his hand on two Bibles: One that was used for Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861, the other a gift from Trump’s mother when he graduated at age 9 from Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, New York.
A few days ago, I was driving from my home in Georgia to a church in Alabama to preach for five days. I didn’t think the predicted “snowpocalypse” would hinder my trip until I arrived in the town of Anniston—where state troopers had blocked the main road due to ice on bridges.
The 2016 election shined a glaring light on a divided America. According to a November 21, 2016 Gallup poll, a record-high 77% of Americans believe the country is split over important values, while 21% see America as united. Americans are also split on whether President-elect Donald Trump can unite the country with 45% stating they believe he will and 49% believing he will further divide it.
The last words the apostle Peter wrote in the Bible are priceless. He said: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and forever. Amen” (2 Pet. 3:18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both now and forever. Amen. -MEV). Peter’s plea to the first disciples still screams out to us today: “Grow!”
Those who walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit have access to the nine “power gifts” mentioned in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. These gifts include prophecy, speaking in tongues, miracles and healing—and many Christians are eager to receive these supernatural manifestations of God’s power.
One of the greatest blessings of the Holy Spirit is that He manifests Himself in every believer. He does not sit passively inside us. He is active. Jesus said in John 7:38 that the Spirit would become in us like a flowing river. He fills us so He can touch others with the reality of Christ.