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   January 2004 Issue of the Pneuma Informer

The January 2004 Pneuma Informer

In this issue:

What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org

New Articles and other Features on the Pneuma Foundation Website:

New links on the following pages:

New Articles Available:
  • Living for Jesus Today: "Do You Ever Wonder Why Things You Want Don't Happen?" by H. Murray Hohns. Have you ever wondered why some things you have asked God for never seem to come to pass? Added January 15, 2004. ">/resources/articles/article_0015.jsp

Also, be sure to check out the "What's New" section on the Pneuma Foundation homepage. New articles and other features are being added regularly.

Have a website you would like linked to the Pneuma Foundation? Write Webmaster Dave Driggs with your suggestion. Or use the on–line form to submit your suggestion: links.jsp#link

Reports from Around the World

China: Sister Chang's obedience
Sister Chang, leader of a house church in China's Henan Province, heard God tell her to preach the Gospel on the steps of the local Police Station. "Even in the West, doing something like that can get you arrested," reports mission agency Asia Harvest, "in Communist China, it's a sure way to be severely punished." However, the impression remained clear after prayer, so Sister Chang boldly preached the Gospel to astonished passers–by from the top step in front of the Police Station. Only a few minutes later, she was arrested and thrown into the women's jail without due process, together with thousands of lost people. There, she could proclaim the Gospel with boldness and love; in 3 months, 800 women decided to follow Jesus. The whole atmosphere in the jail was transformed. The Director wanted to know what had caused the change, and found out that it was Sister Chang's sermons. He called her into his office, telling her "You have made my job easy! The fights between the inmates have stopped, the women have become gentle and obedient. We need more people like you. From today, you are not only free, but also have a job here (paid an astonishing 3,000 Yuan – US$375 – per month), a car with chauffeur and a spacious apartment." Chang turned the offer down. "Jesus has been wonderful to me since I've known him. I don't think the offer of a salary, car and chauffeur match his plans for my life. I belong to Jesus alone, and I want to preach the good news." Despite her refusal, Chang was released and can serve her Lord unhindered.
Source: Asia Harvest by way of Friday Fax 2003 Issue 47.

United States: Postal Campaign to Honor Azusa Street Revival Pastor
A Florida evangelist has started a grass–roots effort to have the U.S. Postal Service recognize the black pastor who led the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906, which is credited for sparking the Pentecostal movement.
Larry Martin, the academic dean at the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry in Pensacola, wants to honor William Seymour with a postage stamp. The son of former slaves, Seymour was the pastor of the Azusa Street Apostolic Faith Mission.
On Aug. 1, Martin plans to submit a formal petition asking the postal service to issue a stamp on April 2006 to honor the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival.
"In a year when more African Americans were lynched than in any other year, the races mixed freely at the Azusa Street Mission," a letter Martin hopes to send to the U.S. postmaster general says. "Under Seymour's leadership, blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians all worshiped together. ... Few men have overcome greater odds to accomplish so much."
A Seymour biographer and researcher, Martin noted that Yale University has recognized Seymour as "the most influential black leader in American religious history." In 1999, the Religion Newswriters Association named the Azusa Street Revival as one of the top 10 events of the past millennium. Additionally, "Christian History" magazine named Seymour one of the top 10 Christians of the 20th century, Martin said.
"By honoring Bishop Seymour, we will also glorify God and direct the world's attention to the unparalleled success of the modern Pentecostal–charismatic movement he worked to establish," Martin, 51, told Charisma News Service. Seymour died in 1922.
Martin calls Seymour his "greatest hero of the faith." "I believe he is perhaps the most remarkable of all Christian leaders," he said. "He displayed grace under pressure and humility in the midst of prejudice. Seymour walked in holiness and his reputation is without tarnish."
Martin added that his campaign to recognize Seymour would be "the first Pentecostal–charismatic stamp and a great response to the Islamic stamp the post office recently issued."
"I have no personal agenda except to honor Brother Seymour and advance the kingdom," said Martin, who is also working with a separate campaign to place a marker at Seymour's birthplace in Louisiana. "The response has been weak. I have only about 200 letters. I will follow through regardless of the response."
For more information on Martin's William Seymour stamp campaign, visit http://www.azusastreet.org
Source: Charisma News Service, January 20, 2004 edition. Used with permission.

More in the News:
  • Understanding our global culture: "Religious freedom under Islam" Danish missionary Henrik Ertner Rasmussen comments on how Muslims view other religions, including Christians and Christian missionary activity (Forum18). http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=227
  • "Faith and Healing: Can religion improve health? While the debate rages in journals and med schools, more Americans ask for doctors' prayers." Claudia Kalb. Newsweek (Nov. 10, 2003), pages 44–50, 53–54, 56. Beyond the anecdotes, medical science is now showing some significant–even "persuasive"–evidence that prayer and trust in God can improve health and the quality of life. http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3474967

  • See other news to pray for and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below

Student subscription incentive

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Ask your library to subscribe to the Pneuma Review and we will send you two free issues to the journal.

Here are the details:
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Comments from Readers and Web Visitors
Speaking of the Pneuma website: "What a wonderful resource you have!"
– Joshua
"www.PneumaFoundation.org is an interesting site with a lot of articles. Some of the articles by Daniel Brown I have sent along to my brother in Florida. He is a pastor who has really been wrestling with questions about church growth. He has already written back saying that he found them helpful. I am going to continue investigating your site."
– David
"I appreciate you mentioning the Classic Christianity archives on the Christian Publications website in the Pneuma Informer. ... It is good to let people know those resources are still available.
Blessings on your endeavors."
– Paul King (professor at Oral Roberts University and former editor of Classic Christianity http://www.christianpublications.com/Periodicals/classic.htm mentioned in the December 2003 issue of the Pneuma Informer)
"Thanks for sending the Pneuma Informer.
I'm curious about Craig Keener's article [excerpt appeared in the November 2003 issue of the Pneuma Informer]. What book is this drawn from or did Craig write it for you? Craig and I went to school together so I'm sort of a Craig Keener fan."
– Dave J. in the Philippines
Craig Keener's series appearing in the Pneuma Review entitled: "Rightly Understanding God's Word" comes from the syllabus for a class he taught in Africa. Here is the editorial note we are including with every issue in which his study appears:
Professor Keener originally designed this course on Hermeneutics for use in Nigeria and not for traditional publication. Desiring to make it available to a wider audience, he has granted permission to publish this course in the Pneuma Review. These lessons will also be made available on the www.PneumaFoundation.org website. Dr. Keener grants permission for others to make use of this material as long as it is offered without cost or obligation and that users acknowledge the source.
As of January 2004, one of the chapters is available on–line and may be found here: article_archive.jsp. More of these articles will be coming soon.
"Dear Pneuma Friends,
Your prayer support team has been source of strength. May the good Lord Jesus bless you in both your teaching and prayer ministry.
Till my next email, take good care friends!"
– Brother PM
"I would very much like to help your website grow, using links to good, high quality pentecostal websites. I emphasize good and high quality because as I am sure you know there are some that are not worth recommending, due to their quasi–Scriptural and carnival approach to this matter.
I believe I have shared with you in the past how important I think it is for pentecostal (or charismatic) Christians to have a rock–solid and trustworthy site to visit in order to get the type of high quality and scholarly material they need to refute the onslaught of anti–pentecostal rhetoric within American Christianity. There are enough sites out there that don't miss an opportunity smear our movement. These sites, put on the Internet by people under names like 'watchman' 'sound doctrine' 'Bible doctrine' 'Berean' 'cult watchers' etc., are all over the place.
I am so tired of being labeled a heretic, an adherer to false teachers and false doctrines, an 'experience over Scripture believer' and so forth. I trust all of you are, also. The time has come to say 'Enough!' I wish there was some way to get the word out about pneumafoundation to others besides the internet.
If I find other sites that I believe are reputable and worth visitors to your site checking into, I will certainly pass them onto you."
– MD
"Congratulations with the incredible amount of visitors on your site."
– GL
"I've added your website to my browser 'favorites' both at home and here at work. I appreciated bumping into another source for Hebraic roots materials. I have been looking through some of Kevin William's writings. Good stuff.
Here's another site which I found to be quite informative (and hopefully accurate).
I've been reading this guy's site for almost two years and still have yet to exhaust all the resources there. His study on the Seven Festivals of The Lord rocked me right down to my doctrinal roots and made me re–examine everything I thought I knew about the O.T. and law and festivals. Turns out that what I knew wasn't much.
He has a Seven Festivals 'study' that can either be printed off from the website or purchased for group study. It is exceptional. His comment that the word 'festival' sometimes in the original text was actually 'rehearsal' really rocked me. (of course he's not the only one who has made that remark) I think specifically that was used in Rosh HaShanah which was not translated properly either. Western thought renders it 'Feast of Trumpets' but that's not accurate as you know. It is the 'Feast of the Awakening Blast' or 'Rehearsal of The Awakening Blast'. (1 Thess 4:15–18)
He also has a study called 'Who is the Bride of Christ?'. I've printed that off and I'm not sure I agree 100% with what he has written but it's a good read anyway. As a simple point of conversation — most charismatic and full gospel churches teach that the Church is the bride of Christ. The Apostle Paul never pointedly said that — he repeatedly stated that the Church was the Body of Christ, though. One very old Southern Baptist gentleman who got me started on Hebraic roots hit me upside the head with that one. He also said that where the bride is made reference to — the context is usually talking about Israel. What do I think? I honestly do not know. I do know that the Church is called the Body of Christ in scripture.
Anyway — I'll be wandering around your website periodically. Thanks.
In Service to The Lord of Hosts,"
– Tim E
"Keep sending those newsletters. They are wonderful and I enjoy them."
– RC
"I would just like to share with you something that happened to me yesterday.... I was on my way to work, having my morning 'conversation' with God. This particular morning I was sharing with Him my, well, let's just say lack of enthusiasm, for my job. I admitted that I knew He wanted me to write, that He had blessed me with an ability to put words into forms that people found pleasing, but I didn't know what to do... how to begin to make that change from who I am to who He wants me to be. I asked that He provide me some sign, some form of guidance.
"I spent some time with a friend yesterday, just chatting about miscellaneous topics. Out of the blue he suggested that I write an article about what it means to be a Christian and work in the food service industry. He has a friend with a magazine that focuses on Christians in the workforce and believes this man would publish my article.
"One thing you should know.... God knows me. He knows that often I am like a child and telling me once doesn't quite break through all the other noise.
"Seeing your [acceptance] e–mail this morning was an answer from God. I am more blessed than words can convey. The edits are fine...thank you so much and please let me know when you put it up!!
"With humble celebration and praise for the living, speaking, sovereign God,"
– A recent writing contributor to the Pneuma Foundation online resource center

Thoughts to Ponder
"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant"
– Martin Luther King Jr.
"I believe that life after death is a given; it's life before death that is in question."
– John Tisdale
"A theology of Christian growth must have room for crises and dramatic workings of the Spirit as well as for the slower maturing of His fruit called sanctification."
– Charles E. Hummel
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
– Soren Kierkegaard

Resources You Can Use

Online Resources about The Passion from RBC Ministries
Mel Gibson has produced "The Passion of the Christ," a film on the crucifixion of our Lord. The date for release of this film is February 25, 2004. RBC Ministries (Radio Bible Class) has developed a web site to provide help on questions about the film and spiritual issues it may generate. You may access RBC's web site on this topic at www.rbc.net/thepassion.

Need French Materials?
Equipping the Saints offers French Thompson Chain Reference Bibles and French ministry books at up to 90% discount. A resource list is available on the ETS web site. Check out http://www.etsusa.org. In the USA call 1–540–234–6222 or email ets@rica.net for more information.
Source: Brigada Today 2004/01/23. www.brigada.org

Church and Missionary Supplies
Looking for audio or video equipment? Need 220V appliances or new chairs for your church's gathering place? One place to try is Evangelical Purchasing Service (EPS), in the USA call 800–445–6791 or write epscrc@aol.com or log on at http://www.epurchasingservice.com/
Source: Brigada Today 2004/01/23. www.brigada.org

Ministry among International Students
If you are interested in ministry to international students, check out the International Student Ministry Conference May 28–30. International student ministry (ISM) is growing in North America, Europe, and many other countries. ISM will be one of the issue groups for the Lausanne 2004 Forum. Last year leaders of ISM from 12 countries attended the annual equipping conference of ACMI (Association of Christian Ministries to Internationals). ACMI '04 will have 40 workshops, plenary sessions and special interest groups related to ministry among International students, May 28–30, at Wheaton College, near Chicago, Illinois, USA. There will be a concurrent conference for Christian international students. For brochures and details, go to http://www.acmi-network.org or email acmioffice
Source: Brigada Today 2004/01/23. www.brigada.org

Excerpts from the Pneuma Review

The Pneuma Review is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders.

For more information about the Pneuma Review, and to learn how to subscribe, click here.
There is also subscription information further on in this newsletter.

In order to complete this issue of the Pneuma Informer and have it sent to subscribers while it is still January, no excerpts from the Pneuma Review will be appearing in this issue.

Prayer Requests

  • Calvary Africa Ministries in Rwanda, Africa has asked that we pray with them for the provision of computers, Bibles, and photocopier machines. These materials will greatly expand their ability to minister and train Christian workers. Reference Number: 90009389
  • Pray for believers in Pakistan: A Christian boy, who was kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, recently escaped abduction from militant Muslims. Last month, Zeeshan Gill, 15, was abducted while on his way home after school, Jubilee Campaign said.
    He was taken to a Muslim religious school where was harassed, beaten and threatened with death if he ran away or converted back to Christianity. His captors reportedly forced him to fast daily and began training him in the use of weapons in order to send him to Kashmir for "jihad."
    His mother, Razia, tracked him down and went to court for Zeeshan's release. On Nov. 24, Zeeshan, his mother and a younger brother were able to flee to the home of his aunt.
    The family contacted the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), which is handling his case. CLAAS director Joseph Francis urged fervent prayer for protection for Zeeshan and his family, Jubilee Campaign said.
    Elsewhere, a believer was arrested Nov. 28 for violating blasphemy laws after a complaint by a Christian convert to Islam was reported. According to "The Pakistan Christian Post," Nasser Ahmed accused Anwar Masih of defiling the name of the prophet Muhammad. Ahmed reportedly incited a Muslim mob in Shadhra to attack Masih's house and a family member.
    Source: Charisma News Service, 12/16/03. Used with permission.
  • Pneuma Foundation member Evangelist Eric A. has asked for prayer for his work in rural areas and villages in Ghana, Africa. He writes that there is need for film projector and screen, video camera, clothing for the poor and orphanages in the villages in addition to Bibles and books for teaching.
  • Please pray for Tom Felten who has been diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma, a highly treatable form of cancer that affects the lymph system. Tom is undergoing tests to determine how many lymph nodes are affected, and will begin chemotherapy treatments in early February.
  • Pray for believers in Sri Lanka: Militant Buddhists have recently targeted several Assemblies of God (AG) churches. According to the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEARLC), a church in Kotadeniyawa was torched. The church's woman pastor, identified only Ayesha, was hospitalized after some 30 men from a local Buddhist temple attacked her congregation.
    Additionally, AG churches in Kesbewa, Balapitiya, Embilipitiya, Vankalai and Ja–ela were recently threatened or attacked. Other churches in Kadawatha, Marandagahamula and Athurugiriya were also targeted, WEARLC said.
    Meanwhile, Intercessors for Sri Lanka (ISL) recently called for a special prayer for the southern Asian nation. Pastor M.C. Mathew, ISL's coordinator, said more than 100 evangelical and full gospel churches have been attacked in the past year by Buddhist and Hindu extremists in the nation's southern and eastern regions.
    "Some pastors have suffered injuries by the attacking mobs," ISL said. "The police are taking no action. The government is silent and continues to formulate legislation to prohibit conversion to Christianity. Believers are making appeals to foreign embassies. Most endangered churches have begun 24–hour prayer watches."
    Source: Charisma News Service, 12/4/03. Used with permission.
  • The people of the Good Shepherd Prayer group, in India, have asked for prayer: "Let the Will of the Holy Spirit be done on our Mind, Body, Soul, Thoughts, Intelligence, Liberty, Speech, Feelings, Breath & Actions." They minister to youth, proclaiming the love of God.

Praise Reports

  • Professor and author, J. Rodman Williams, recently underwent eye surgery to remove cataracts. He reports that he is recovering well and is able to see now with no glasses at all. Praise the Lord!
  • Pastor Craig Carter writes that the church he has help found in Cedar Springs, Michigan (north of Grand Rapids) is growing and seeing lives changed. "There is such a need in North Kent County for a move of God. This area has been very closed to the gospel. The religious status quo has been the norm, but things are really starting to change. There are some changes in the local government here that are coming also, which I believe is part of the change in the spiritual climate in this area. We continue to stay focused on what we believe God has called us here to do and that is to establish a strong, healthy church in North Kent County, that is really reaching the heart and lives of the community."

  • Please send us your prayer requests and praise reports. We have a great God who always meets our needs.
  • If you would like more information about how you may help in meeting these needs, please E-mail Member Services.

  • Mention of a ministry or organization in this publication does not mean that the Pneuma Foundation recommends that organization or its resources to you. Mention of an organization or its news or resources is for informational purposes only. Please exercise wisdom or caution before utilizing resources or otherwise receiving any assistance from an organization mentioned within this publication.