In this issue
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
New Articles and other Features on the Pneuma Foundation Website:
New Guest Articles:
The Guest Articles index
makes available essays, reviews, sermons, and presentations made by
friends of the Pneuma Foundation. Please be sure to read the
disclaimers made on the index page.
- "Leadership and Skim Boarding"
by Dan Reiland. "This summer, while on vacation I learned how to skim
board and throughout the sometimes painful process of learning I was
reminded of some very important leadership principles that are often
overlooked." Added 8/13/04.
- Review: War on the Saints.
Linda Williams urges you to read a book by Jessie Penn-Lewis she feels
has been overlooked by the church for too long. Added 8/6/2004.
Also, be sure to check out the "What's New" section on the Pneuma
Foundation homepage. New articles and other features are being added
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.
Come visit soon. Write to Member Services with any comments or questions you have about the website or the Pneuma Informer.
Reports from Around the World
China: Jesus in Beijing
Master journalist David Aikman ("Time" and others) surprised the
world with his book "Jesus in Beijing". China's population of 1.3
billion has multiplied by around 2.5 times since 1949, when it was
around 500 million. In the same period, the number of Christians in
China has grown by factor twenty. "That makes it plausible," says
Aikman, "that 20-30% of China's population will be Christians in thirty
years' time." That is a critical mass which will lead to a growing
number of key government positions being held by Christians. "China
will be Christianised if the current trend continues," he says.
The growing influence of the Chinese church
A China increasingly influenced by Christian values would no longer
accept a game of cat-and-mouse with the USA ('who is the greatest
superpower?'), but would increasingly exert ideological influence
around the world. Aikman agrees with Wang Mingdao's biographer, Thomas
Harvey: "No matter which political route the Chinese government goes,
the Chinese church will influence global Christianity ever more in the
coming generations." Since the 1970's, Aikman has been inspired by the
fascinating story of Christianity in China, arising amid bloody
persecution, and the revival in an underground Christian movement led
by daring men and women. He tells of the "astonishing missionary
calling to Muslims and the Arab world sensed by Chinese Christians."
"In comparison, Americans don't have the faintest chance of showing
themselves to be believable missionaries," he says.
House churches and the State
In 1998, a number of house church networks met to formulate their
relationship to the Government. The historic statement was signed by
Shen Yi-Ping, China Evangelistic Fellowship, Zhang Rongliang, Mother
Church in Fangcheng China, Cheng Xianqi, Church in Fuyang, China, and
Wang Chunlu for another Chinese house church movement. It can be read
on the internet at www.ccea.org.tw/~cmi/belief1e.htm.
Aikman asked for permission to write down the fascinating story of
China's church, including real names. When it was granted, he packed
his suitcase and moved to Hong Kong to work on his book.
Source: Friday Fax 2004 Issue 2. Used with permission.
David Aikman wrote to the Pneuma Foundation:
"The content of the story is accurate in so far as it describes JESUS
IN BEIJING and some of the background to my reporting it. Since you are
of charismatic-pentecostal persuasion (as I in fact am), you might want
to peruse the book. It contends that about two thirds of China's
unregistered house church Christians are charismatic."
"Following Jesus also means making room for the supernatural"
Other News and Headlines
"In the West, we often see only a trickle of God's supernatural
power; in other parts of the world, people are experiencing a downpour
of God's power," writes Jim Montgomery, founder of the Dawn movement.
"Demons are being driven out, people raised from the dead, every form
of sickness healed, broken limbs mended, Jesus appears in dreams and
visions, Satan's power is being broken in all possible ways—all this
and more is happening every day. Any church wanting to live out Jesus'
life can no longer ignore this fundamental aspect of the supernatural.
Signs and wonders are not the only indicators of Jesus' working, but
they are clear indications of his presence. In northern India, for
example, major and minor miracles are happening as never before. When
Jesus delivered a demonised man, the Christians commanded the demon to
leave a clear sign that it had left the region; it made a large hole in
the roof. Two years ago in Togo, 150 people, mostly Muslims, decided to
follow Jesus when a 4-year-old boy was raised from the dead. In
Mongolia, an entire extended family decided to follow Jesus after a man
in Naraa was raised from the dead.
Shouldn't we take the Bible more literally, and expect Jesus to confirm
His Word through supernatural signs and wonders, as it says in Mark
Source: Friday Fax 2004 Issue 29. Used with permission.
for Current News and Links
- Hungary: President Praises Church for Sheltering East Germans 15 years later, church and charity awarded for help to end Berlin Wall division (AssistNewsService).
- Survey Finds U.S. Teens Involved and Concerned About Country's Future (AgapePress)
- United States: San Francisco's Same-sex Marriages Ruled Invalid California Supreme Court: San Francisco mayor broke the law (ChristianityTodayOnline).
- "Two blue-blood theologians switched sides on belief in the Bible's personal God" Gordon D. Kaufman rejected him, Alister McGrath embraced him (Associated Press)
- United States: Pentecostal scholar Veli-Matti Krkkiinen forced to leave the country (ChristianityTodayOnline). Thanks to Mike Knowles for sending this news link.
- Sri Lanka: Government-Christian Groups Lock Horns over Anti-Conversion Bill
Christian groups are strongly opposing Sri Lanka's move to introduce a
Bill banning religious conversions, with the Supreme Court also
receiving 25 petitions in its favor and 21 against it, placing the
government in a tight spot (OneWorld). See also: Cracking Down on Conversions Buddhist radicals push tough new laws (ChristianityTodayOnline)
- United States: Protestants Becoming a Minority (University of Chicago)
- United States: House forbids courts to rule on same-sex marriage (ChristianityTodayOnline)
- Historical perspective: Is Speaking Truth a Hate Crime? (ChristianityTodayOnline)
- Worldwide Persecution Watch: Russia
In a revival of a practice from the mid-1990s, several regions are
again producing anti-missionary laws, mostly modeled after a 2001 law
adopted in the Belgorod region (CharismaNOW). Sweden: No Free Speech in Preaching Swedish pastor sentenced to jail for blasting homosexuality (ChristianityTodayOnline). India Hindu extremists who recently kidnapped the wife of a pastor are still holding her captive (CharismaNOW). Iraq
In the first coordinated terrorist assault aimed at Iraqi Christians, a
series of car bombs exploded this Sunday outside five churches thronged
with worshipers in Baghdad and in the northern city of Mosul, killing
at least 11 people and injuring dozens more (CharismaNOW). See
ChristianityTodayOnline coverage of this attack on Iraqi Christians. Indonesia Woman pastor shot to death after preaching a sermon (CharismaNOW). Chinese woman 'beaten to death' for handing out Bibles
A 34-year-old woman has allegedly been beaten to death in jail on the
day she was arrested for handing out Bibles in south-west China's
Guizhou province, according to state media (AFP). See the same story
from ABC News. Russia Urals religious freedom like 'football with only one set of goalposts' (Forum18).
- US Religion in the News: Looking for a sign
Motorists glance at them for just a moment, but ministers see church
marquee messages as a great chance to attract people with a groaner of
a pun or a thought-provoking phrase (Associated Press). News story has
expired as of 8/17/04.
- Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich calls for a war against conservative religious believers (ChristianityTodayOnline)
- Sudan: "Never Again?" Genocide in Sudan tests our commitment to justice. ChristianityTodayOnline editorial.
> See other news to pray and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below
Report the News
We are looking for stories about
what God is doing in the world, reports about the persecution of
Christians, and information about significant trends and ministry
opportunities. If you have a news item to report, please send an email
to the Informer.
PNEUMA REVIEW Sponsorship Program
Have you wanted to subscribe to the PNEUMA REVIEW but simply cannot afford to do so?
you been looking for a strategic way of building the kingdom of God
around the world by helping teach and educate future Christian leaders?
The Pneuma Foundation is now taking requests for sponsorships of subscriptions to the Pneuma Review. Any church or ministry leader, or Christian educational institute who cannot afford to purchase a subscription to the Pneuma Review is invited to request a sponsorship.
All eligible requests for sponsorship will then be posted
anonymously (such as: "Inner-city Pastor in Dallas, TX" or "Bible
College in Northern India") and the Pneuma Foundation will ask its
members and friends to consider sponsoring subscriptions for these
ministries and leaders. Donors will be invited to get to know the
ministries they sponsor.
By directly connecting those who desire to grow in their ability to
equip others with those can give financially, the Pneuma Foundation
hopes to see genuine growth of relationships in the body of Christ.
This is an opportunity to partner with Christians from around the world
in making known the love, power, and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ
For more information, or to request a sponsorship, please send an E-mail to: Member Services.
If requesting a sponsorship, please include the following: 1) Full name
and title 2) name of the ministry you are involved with 3) brief
description of the activities of the ministry and how you are involved
4) complete mailing address 5) brief explanation of why you wish to
receive the Pneuma Review or how it will be used.
Please do not hesitate to request a sponsorship if you cannot afford
to purchase a subscription yourself. While the Pneuma Foundation is
unable to guarantee that a sponsor will be found, please allow the
ministry to make your request known. Followers of Messiah are giving
people, and we are confident that brothers and sisters will respond.
The Pneuma Foundation's desire is to not even charge a subscription
fee, but it must do so because of the costs involved in printing and
mailing the journal to subscribers worldwide. Thanks to the generous
gifts of our members and friends, the ministry is able to cover its
administrative costs apart from the cost of the publication of the Pneuma Review.
As the ministry grows and God brings us new friends and members to
partner with us, it is our hope to reduce subscription costs and make
the journal available to more people who are blessed by it.
One recent request submitted was:
"As evangelists and church
planters, we train members of the church for soul-winning and pastoral
care. I personally believe in making use of every opportunity in God's
house that is available and can be used for the promotion of the
gospel. That is why I want to receive the Pneuma Review. I will use it as part of the Church teaching material." Reference Number: 90012152
Go to the Sponsorship Requested page. Please consider sponsoring one of these ministries today.
"Nothing Is Easy" by H. Murray Hohns
I don't know about you, but there are moments in my life
where I am afraid, times when I wonder if I can make it. I know I am
not alone in my fears since I get to talk and to pray with others and
in that role, I sometimes learn of their fears. As I write, I think of
a young woman whose husband spends his evenings on the internet looking
for liaisons with other women.
She has two little girls, but while she hates what he is doing and
is terribly unhappy, she is too frightened to complain or leave. My
fears are similar though they do not involve infidelity. The similarity
is the underlying question: "Will there be enough for us? How will I
make it?" It is so hard at times, and the unexpected comes around far
too often. "Nothing is easy" has become a by-word in my world.
My wife and I are in our golden years. I no longer earn a regular
living in the marketplace. While we looked forward to no longer having
to go to work every day and to a pension and savings to provide for us,
we still have all the worries we used to have. Our investments have
suffered; interest rates are so low they look inadequate to carry out
our earlier plans. What once looked like more than enough now appears
to be too little. What will we do? What will happen to us? Will God
really provide for us as we get older?
I can get all worked up if I dwell on the uncertainties of the
future. My upset can go real deep, and my imagination and the whispers
of the devil and his minions can stop me in my tracks while I try to
put that fear into its proper place and get victory over my concerns.
Scripture tells us the best antidote for times like these is to
remember what God has done for you and me in days gone by. In that view
I have also learned that it helps to read the thoughts of other Godly
people and how the Almighty met their needs.
I was having one of those under-my-rock days when I picked up a
little book by Rabbi Schneerson and read: "What makes you think that
the Source of blessings will run out of ways to care for you?" Then I
thought about my weight (over not under) problem and all the food that
has ever graced my plate for more than 70 years with the result that I
came out from under my rock.
My confidence in God returned, and I rejoiced again with the Apostle
Paul who once wrote "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which
I have committed unto him against that day". God still loved me after
all. I had the victory again, and it was wonderful. I was doing great
until my wife proposed that we do something fun that was going to cost
a large sum of money, and my first thought was "no way"! We can't
Nothing is easy, though we have seen over and over that God has
under girded us through all the impossible places we traveled in our
lives. When all seemed too dark to overcome, He was there working on
our behalf in the darkness. We could not see Him nor appreciate what He
was doing, but when the next page turned, we realized that He was there
all the time. It is not easy because He wants us to depend on Him and
not ourselves. Trust Him, He is the mighty God.
Resources You Can Use
Empowering Church Workers
Practical church resources
from the Assemblies of God. From their web site: "Selected articles and
resources on Assemblies of God Online that will help you in your local
Church Web sites for Outreach
A very clear paper explains how churches can be
seeker-sensitive, both online and beyond. If you are planning a church
web site, or wish to reposition your site for outreach, print this out
for group discussion: http://www.christianhosting.com/SeekerSensitiveChurchWebSites.pdf
More ideas for church sites:http://www.gospelcom.net/guide/resources/church-pages.php
If you have a web site aimed at children, you should submit it to kids directories. http://searchenginewatch.com/links/article.php/2156191
Slim your pages down for improved search engine ranking: http://www.searchengineguide.com/churchill/2004/0223_cc1.html
Yahoo's new spider may or may not have visited
your site. If you are not listed on Yahoo's new search engine (not the
directory) there is a free URL submit service. You will need a Yahoo
account/id to use it: http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
Source: Copyright Web Evangelism Guide web-evangelism.com, used with permission.
Thanks for Linking to PneumaFoundation.com
The volunteer web team would like to give a warm "thank you"
to all of you who have placed a link to the Pneuma Foundation on your
personal or ministry website. By linking to us to are affirming that
you find our resources valuable and we appreciate the encouragement.
Links also increase our popularity in many search engines that rank
based on links to the site that can be found on your site and others.
If you would like to receive updates about big changes to the site,
please send us a note. Small changes that occur will be mentioned in
the Pneuma Informer, but we would be glad to tell you about big changes
when they happen. This can help you as you work at keeping your links
as up-to-date as possible. Just send an email to Member Services and we will add you to our web updater database.
Thoughts to Ponder
"David fasted when he was in trouble
(Psalm 69). Jehoshaphat called a fast when the Moabites came up against
him (2 Chronicles 20). Ezra fasted to ask for safe passage (Ezra 8:21).
Esther would not go to the king unless a few fasted with her (Esther
4:16). Joel proclaimed a fast for backslidden Israel to repent and ward
off disaster. And 'til I understand a lot of things better--like how
prayer affects eternal decrees, how suffering produces character, and
why it is we fast--that will be good enough for me."
Source: Andree Seu
"Clergy under 40 years of age are
providing strong support for church renewal movements. However, clergy
close to retirement are providing the least support for church renewal.
Researchers McKinney and Finke, in 'Reviving the Mainline,' concluded
that younger than average clergy support evangelical movements. Renewal
movements have now been organized by clergy and laity in all mainline
denominations. More than 30 renewal groups exist, and they are aimed at
'revitalizing worship, reviving evangelism, and reforming the theology
of mainline churches.'"
Source: Christianity Today, Aug 2003
"If you are all wrapped up in yourself, you are overdressed."
Source: Kate Halverson
"For the grace to be grace, it must give
us things we didn't know we needed, such as the pain of loss, or
illness, or spiritual drought. As we stumble through the altered
landscape of our lives, we find that God is enjoying our attention as
never before. And maybe that's the point. We have finally dropped the
mirror, and are looking for God."
Source: Kathleen Norris
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, go to: www.pneumafoundation.org/subscribe.jsp.
In order to complete this issue of the Pneuma Informer and have it sent to subscribers while it is still August, no excerpts from the Pneuma Review will be appearing in this issue.
Buy the Pneuma Review online at Amazon.com
Write a review online for the Pneuma Review!
- Mike, A friend of the ministry writes: "Can I ask for you to pray
with us for something? I lost my job today (because of too many
unscheduled absences, due to sickness). The irony of it is that since
I've lost my job, we now have no health insurance, so now I can't
continue with the medical testing I've been getting done to try to get
- Pray for Christians in Vietnam: "Government authorities continue to
apply unrelenting pressure on tribal Christians in the Central
Highlands of Vietnam, while trying to convince the international
community that all is back to normal in the troubled region."
Source: "Distress, Harassment Continue for Vietnam's Montagnards" ChristianityTodayOnline
- Pray for Christians in Mexico: "imprisoned Christians [are] accused
of killing 47 Tzotzil Indians in the mountain community of Acteal on
Dec. 22, 1997. Many of the 34 Christians are serving sentences for a
crime they did not commit."
Source: "CBN To Air Report On Persecution In Mexico" Open Doors
- Pray for Christians in Egypt: Bad cops have falsified evidence to have the murderers of 21 Christians acquited.
Source: Persecution Report from ChristianityTodayOnline