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   The August 2004 Pneuma Informer

In this issue

What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
Reports from Around the World
China: Jesus in Beijing
"Following Jesus also means making room for the supernatural"
Other News and Headlines
Report the News
PNEUMA REVIEW Sponsorship Program
"Nothing Is Easy" by H. Murray Hohns
Resources You Can Use
Empowering Church Workers
Church Web sites for Outreach
Thanks for Linking to PneumaFoundation.com
Thoughts to Ponder
Excerpts from the PNEUMA REVIEW
Prayer Requests

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 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.

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"
"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 16:20?"
Source: Friday Fax 2004 Issue 29. Used with permission.

Other News and Headlines
Visit links.jsp for Current News and Links> 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?
Have 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 alone.

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 afford that.

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 ministry."

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 Submission:
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!

 

Prayer Requests

  • 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 better. Thanks."
  • 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