Monday, December 29, 2008

Documentary On Haggard

HEBREWS 12:1-2
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us,] and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sad. Ted Haggard calls himself a loser according to a recent article, but if he repents in truth and sincerity, he would likely define himself differently with more optimism. If I recall Haggard was (or is it is?) a member in the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) conglomerate of new apostles and prophets...and such an influence is enough to make overcoming any area of sin even more difficult because of its churning sea of apostasy. The Word is clear on homosexuality and adultery, but it is also clear that God will help us overcome areas of sin in our lives. The article is below; clicking the title should bring to you to the source.


Haggard Says He Still Struggles With Sexuality

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Disgraced evangelical leader Ted Haggard says in a new documentary that he still struggles with his sexuality yet is committed to his marriage for the sake of his children.

Haggard, 52, resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was fired as senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs in November 2006 after a former male prostitute went public with allegations that Haggard paid him for sex and used methamphetamine.

A father of five, Haggard had said he bought the drugs but never used them. He confessed to undisclosed "sexual immorality" and has said, "I really did sin."

The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported Thursday that in the documentary, Haggard talks about a lifelong battle with his sexuality — and that he never claimed to be heterosexual.

"The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me. And that happened and more," he says.

Haggard's wife, Gayle, says she is committed to Haggard.

"I know to restore the honor to our children is to help restore honor to their father," she says.

"The Trials of Ted Haggard," directed by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is set to air Jan. 29 on HBO. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Haggard has agreed to promote the documentary.

Haggard moved his family to Arizona after the scandal and also lived in Texas. He re-emerged last month at a rural Illinois church, where he delivered guest sermons and said he was sexually abused as a second-grader.

He now sells insurance and, in the documentary, says he isn't successful.

"At this stage in my life, I am a loser," he says.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All!

I hope everyone reading this will have a great Christmas, and a wonderful time with family and friends!

Luke 2:1-11

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
10 And the angel said to them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

*See also video previously featured--click here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christ In Christmas

JOHN 7:5-7
5) For neither did his brethren believe in him.
6) Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready.
7) The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

Two years ago during the Christmas season, I was shopping for gifts at JCPenny and approached the counter to check out. Behind the counter were two women-- one appeared to be operating in a managerial capacity. The subordinate rung up my purchases, and handed the bags over to me and said “Have a Merry Christmas”. I reciprocated and prepared to balance my items to leave the service area. The “manager” abruptly turned to the checker and said in a low voice “From now on, do not say “Merry Christmas. We are to say “Happy Holidays”. When I got home, I emailed JCPenny my opinion on the incident. I never received a response from a representative concerning the matter.

There are all kinds of holidays, including religious holidays I do not celebrate. Ramadan is one, for it is a Muslim holiday and I am not Muslim. But because I am a Christian, do I seek to redefine how Muslims celebrate it? I am not Hindu, but do I seek to redefine how Hindus celebrate Lohri? No, I seek to spread the gospel of truth—Jesus Christ as Savior, but I do not seek to redefine holidays I do not believe in. I simply will not participate in such celebrations. Yet I will readily assert Christ is the only way—our only way to eternal life and not destruction.

I always celebrate the 4th of July--Independence Day in the United States. What if I should say, ‘well I don’t like the patriotic symbolism about it, so let’s seek to redefine it, to make it more acceptable to me. Let’s make fireworks and grilled burgers and hot dogs what it’s about, and forget the patriotic stuff’’. From now on we should say “Happy Fireworks Day” or “Happy Grilling Day” so not to offend those who may resent the historical significance of July 4th--yet live here. Someone should then rightfully question as to why I celebrate it all.

When it comes to Christmas and Easter, the meaning of these important celebrations are increasingly fading away. To find Christ depicted in Christmas cards require going to Christian specialty stores for the most part; as mainstream stores are scarce to offer such items anymore. Each year it seems Christmas becomes more commercial, and ever redefined by secular society. My point may seem rude and that is not my intention, but if you don’t like Christ in Christmas—why celebrate the holiday if you are motivated to change what it is really all about? Christmas is about Him--Jesus Christ. What day He really was born on is irrelevant to me; for December 25th is a celebration of His birth, and what His life, death and resurrection means for this world. He is the foremost reason for celebrating. And if you celebrate it, but not Him, why attempt to redefine it for all because you are uncomfortable? Sure giving gifts, egg nog around the fireplace, and children anticipating gifts under a tree Christmas morning has its special traditional place. But Christmas is about a Savior entering into the world to save all mankind. The fact many are offended by Jesus Christ is by no means a sufficient reason to attempt to redefine Christmas by refusing to acknowledge Him, and suppress what this holiday is really about. My hope is all will enjoy the Christmas season, but not modify it so as to exclude the original purpose of celebrating it.

JOHN 1:10-14
10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Internet Explorer Alert

I feel compelled to post this to inform those who may not know about a ongoing issue with Internet Explorer. Experts are warning people to stay away from IE until this issue is resolved! And if you operate or even enter any site using a password take note! Some of you know I have had to battle hackers from time to time. Just last week another attempt was made to hack into one of my websites--by trying to use an old php file I rendered null and void. They also look for js files (java scripts) to hijack and spawn trash. To me, it's tantamount to someone vandalizing a car for glory and exclaiming "aint I pretty?" To which I say, "no, you look like an ugly thug to me". But back to the point. Internet Explorer has another security breech, and this one appears to be quite serious. I myself will not be using IE to log into my sites or blog until the issue is adequately resolved--and I sure would not use it to log into sites to do financial transactions of any kind (Paypal, shopping, etc.)! I often use Mozilla, and I actually prefer it to IE because I have dial up internet access; and Mozilla speeds things up a bit. However, for routine surfing--without using a password for anything, I gather IE would be least hopefully. The article below from a security expert:


Major flaw revealed in Internet Explorer; users urged to switch

The major press outlets are abuzz this morning with news of a major new security flaw that affects all versions of Internet Explorer from IE5 to the latest beta of IE8. The attack has serious and far-reaching ramifications -- and they're not just theoretical attacks. In fact, the flaw is already in wide use as a tool to steal online game passwords, with some 10,000 websites infected with the code needed to take advantage of the hole in IE.

Virtually all security experts (as well as myself) are counseling users to switch to any other web browser -- none of the others are affected, including Firefox, Chrome, and Opera -- at least for the time being, though Microsoft has stubbornly said it "cannot recommend people switch due to this one flaw." Microsoft adds that it is working on a fix but has offered no ETA on when that might happen. Meanwhile it offers some suggestions for a temporary patch, including setting your Internet security zone settings to "high" and offering some complicated workarounds. (Some reports state, however, that the fixes do not actually work.)

Expedient patching or switching are essential. Security pros fear that the attack will soon spread beyond the theft of gaming passwords and into more criminal arenas, as the malicious code can be placed on any website and can be adapted to steal any password stored or entered using the browser. It's now down to the issue of time: Will Microsoft repair the problem and distribute a patch quickly enough to head off the tsunami of fraud that's about to hit or will it come too late to do any good?

Meanwhile, I'll reiterate my recommendation: Switch from Internet Explorer as soon as you can. You can always switch back once the threat is eliminated. (To clarify: You don't need to uninstall IE, just don't use it for the time being.)

Links for other browsers to try: Firefox Chrome Safari Opera

See also: Microsoft To Patch Giant IE Bug

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Elijah And The Famine

Interesting article (I am not acquainted with the ministry of the author...) sent via email from

-by Dale Garris.

"And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down." - 1 Kings 18:30

Just a few years before this showdown on Mount Carmel, Israel had been lush with prosperity and wealth. King Ahab had led the Israelites on a path that led farther away from the old, established worship of God than any before him, and had brought them to a life of riches, prosperity, and licentiousness.

The gods that he and his wife Jezebel had enticed the people of God with appealed to their earthly and fleshly desires. No longer did they have to be constricted with an old religion that demanded holiness and the fear of the Lord. No longer did they have to lead a life of separation from the things of the world that other, more prosperous nations enjoyed. They could enjoy the prosperity and fullness of riches without the constraints of a religion that had become outmoded and old-fashioned.

Life was good. So when Elijah pronounced the judgments of God upon Israel, they laughed him out of the king's court. The true prophets of God had been eradicated from the public place and were no longer a thorn in the side of everyone who wanted the rewards of love, peace, and prosperity. You were no longer allowed to mention the name of Jehovah, much less pray to him in a public place. They now had priests and prophets of Baal that had replaced those old critical and judgmental men who had caused such consternation in the land.

Elijah had stood as the one, lone voice who cried for a return to righteousness.

And who was this hairy old man? He didn't seem to be of any real consequence. He had no credentials, no theological bearing, and no consequential importance. Even his dress revealed his lack of social prominence and his irrelevance in such a modern, sophisticated time as this.

Ahab's ears may have been deaf to Elijah's pronouncement, but when Elijah spoke, God listened. The Ahab's court may have derided him with laughter as he stood before the king, but 3 years later, no one was laughing.

We have followed a course similar to the one that Ahab had led Israel down. The Gospel we listen to is far different than the Gospel our grandfathers believed in. We decry the old brush arbor revivalists as hard, judgmental men who did not understand the love of God, and we have traded their message of repentance and holiness for one that is a kinder, gentler approach which promises love and peace and prosperity.

But the love, peace, and prosperity that our modern prophets have promised us are but a worldly shadow of that which God offers us through a walk of righteousness in the fear of the Lord.

We have been like the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai - we feared and trembled at the presence of God when the mount shook with fire and smoke, but as soon as Moses departed up the mountain and we were left to our own devices, we made for ourselves a golden calf to worship in God's place.

I have said for 7 years now that something is coming to America that will be far worse than 9/11, but I never knew what form that judgment would take. Would it be a dirty nuclear explosion in one of our cities, or an epidemic, or some natural disaster? We would be hurt, but it wouldn't take long to go back to our old ways. We are the great and mighty America, and we have an innate belief that we will always bounce back and dominate.

What if it wasn't any of those imagined disasters, but something that struck right to the heart of that which we cherish the most? What if we lost our prosperity and wealth? And what if it consumed every level of our society and every part of our country?

We are living in that time of drought when the ravens fed Elijah by the brook Cherith, right after he fled the king's court.

We look to our televangelists who promise us blessings, and refuse to consider that our lust for those promises is what has led us to this drought in the first place. But we still flip on the TV and hope for a word of encouragement that will convince us to hang on to a Gospel that has a form of godliness, but denies the power thereof. And of course, they tell us exactly what we want to hear, along with an encouragement to send them your money so that God can release His blessings all over you - but never a word of reproof or repentance.

The job of a prophet is not to tell you how beloved you are, how many blessings God wants to bestow upon you, or how much love is in your church. The job of a prophet is to rebuild the old broken down altars of God and declare unto the people of God their sins and transgressions so that they may come to a place of repentance and, once again, return to the true God of Israel.

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked... As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." - Rev 3:17-19


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Training Young Men To Murder

The title above seems a more fitting title to this article from the Washington Post. I was not aware that Mumbai was attacked by terrorists in 1993 and 2006. There are many religious sects in India, mostly Hindus and Muslims. The Indian Interior Ministry estimates a presence of 275 terrorists organizations within the country. Recently the Home Minister, Shivraj Patil resigned in face of mounting criticism. From the beginning, I think most people believed more terrorists were involved than just the ten Islamist gunmen who carried out the attack, and mounting evidence seems to collaborate that. In the case of the hotels, it would seem there would have to be inside help already planted to carry out such an operation. The captured terrorist, a young 21 years of age initially expressed he had no regrets whatsoever. These people die for nothing and kill for nothing--believing in a false religion. It is heart breaking, some of these kids are indoctrinated with hatred as soon as they can read or follow a story, and they grow up programmed haters and some killers. Many grow up hating Jews, Christians, Hindus, and others unlike them hardly knowing why and not questioning Islamic doctrine perpetuating this unreasonable hatred. The One true God desires all come to repentance through Jesus, but He gives all people the freedom of making a choice for life (through Him) or for death (without Him). These kids grow up into killing machines, but sad as that is, this doesn't excuse their murderous actions. God has deposited a basic grasp of right and wrong; and even some of the most pagan of cultures throughout the centuries had rules and laws to govern their societies. Read the article below or click on the link to get more photos and additional information:

Alleged Terrorist Group Steers Young Men To Fight

Mumbai Suspect, Ex-Recruits Describe How Pakistan-Based Lashkar-e-Taiba Gave Them the Motivation and Skills to Kill

Captured terrorist suspect Mohammed Ajmal Kasab has repeatedly offered the same explanation to his interrogators for his role in the Mumbai attacks. "Islam is in danger," he says over and over, according to a senior Indian police official.

It was a message pumped into the 21-year-old by his trainers from the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to Indian police. To reinforce the message, Mr. Kasab and the nine other terrorists were shown videos of Hindu violence perpetrated on Indian Muslims, police say.

Mr. Kasab's account of his recruitment and training -- along with accounts from court papers and interviews with former recruits -- offers a portrait of how Lashkar-e-Taiba combines indoctrination with expert combat training to turn directionless, disconnected young men into deadly Islamist terrorists.

On Sunday, Pakistan security forces raided a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp where authorities believed militants linked to last month's Mumbai attack were located, a senior Pakistani official said.

Lashkar, whose teachings are often tailored specifically for attacks on the subcontinent, highlights two atrocities in the past two decades that have riled India's minority Muslim community and inspired acts of terrorism in India as well: A 1992 Hindu fundamentalist campaign to destroy the Babri Masjid, a mosque in Uttar Pradesh state, and the 2002 anti-Muslim rioting, in the town of Godhra in the western state of Gujarat, in which more than 1,000 people were killed.

The symbolism appears to have had the desired effect on Mr. Kasab. "He got a sense of purpose right away," says A.N. Roy, director general of the Maharashtra State Police. "He felt he was fighting for his religion."

Since the attacks, Indian police say Mr. Kasab has come to regret his actions and asked police to deliver a letter to his father. In it, according to Mr. Roy, he wrote in Urdu: "I did not go on the path you told me to. I did not realize that the path I was taking would lead me here. I went too far. I am now as good as dead. Nobody should go down this path."

Lashkar-e-Taiba, which started in the early 1990s and made its name challenging India's claims over Kashmir, has expanded its reach to wherever it perceives Muslims to be in danger. In the process, it has become one of the most deadly Islamic terrorist groups, a support at times for al Qaeda, and a route for Western extremists and converts to sign up for terrorism.

Foreign jihadis finding it increasingly difficult to get to al Qaeda directly have turned to Lashkar. Among the most famous Lashkar alumni: "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who tried to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight in late 2001, and Dhiren Barot, who was arrested in 2004, and convicted two years later, for planning a deadly bombing plot in London and providing al Qaeda with materials to target U.S. financial buildings. Both are British citizens.

Pakistan banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, which means "Army of the Pure," under U.S. pressure in 2002, by which time thousands of young men already had trained in Lashkar camps, experts say. Despite the ban, Pakistan has allowed the group to hide in plain sight, doing little if anything to clamp down.

Lashkar's parent organization, a charitable group called Jamaat-ud-Dawa, or "Party of Preachers," is increasing in influence, especially in the central Pakistani province of Punjab, where it even arbitrates village disputes. At its headquarters in Muridke, a few hours' drive from Lahore, it runs a 75-acre campus with an Islamic university, two schools and a hospital. It has set up schools across Punjab and other parts of Pakistan where government schools are nonexistent or poorly funded.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa's educational activities, experts say, have turned it into an open door for young men from all over the world who are interested in exploring militant Islam and perhaps joining Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Lashkar-e-Taiba's founder, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, denies the group was involved in the Mumbai strikes, despite what Indian and U.S. officials say is substantial evidence. Pakistan also has cast doubt on the Indian version of events and on accounts of Mr. Kasab's testimony. President Asif Ali Zardari said he doubts the man Indian police had identified as Mr. Kasab is Pakistani.

According to police accounts, Mr. Kasab has said he is from a poor family of devout Muslims in the small, dusty village of Faridkot in Punjab. His father worked selling snacks out of a cart. One of five siblings, Mr. Kasab has said he dropped out of school when he was in fourth grade so he could help support the family, working as a casual laborer in his town of 3,000 people.

Most people in the Faridkot area work in farming or as laborers in nearby cities. The region, with its poor and undereducated population, has proved to be a fertile recruiting ground for militant Islamic groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In 2005, Mr. Kasab says, according to the police accounts, he moved to Lahore, where his brother was employed. Mr. Kasab worked for a time as a casual laborer, but then got into petty crime, he told police. In search of a source for weapons to commit crimes, Mr. Kasab met with some people who turned out to be recruiters for Lashkar-e-Taiba, he said.

The recruiters persuaded him to attend a training camp, where they showed him video footage of Hindu extremists demolishing the Babri Masjid and Hindu mobs killing Muslims in the aftermath of the burning of a train full of Hindu pilgrims passing through Godhra in 2002.

The two incidents are those most cited in complaints by Indian Muslims about how majority-Hindu India has ignored and persecuted them despite India's democracy and secular constitution. Indian Mujahedeen, a terror outfit with alleged links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, cited the events in emails taking responsibility for a series of terrorist attacks in India earlier this year.

The grievances Lashkar-e-Taiba uses to motivate recruits vary depending on the target audience. One former member says he was recruited at age 16 in 1997 after a Lashkar recruiter showed him pictures of Muslim women raped and killed and dumped in mass graves in Bosnia, as well as of dead insurgents in Kashmir. In an interview, the former member said the recruiter came to his school in Gujranwala, a district close to Jamaat-ud-Dawa's headquarters, to tell the class to be pious Muslims.

"The pictures moved a lot of us and some of us even started to cry," he said in an interview.

After Mr. Kasab's first few months in a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp he felt a sense of purpose for the first time in his life, he told Mumbai police. It was his job to fight to the death to save Islam and he said he was ready to die in the jihad, police said.

At several camps around Pakistan, including a major Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Muzaffarabad in Kashmir, Mr. Kasab underwent 18 months' training in marine warfare, weaponry and explosive use, he told interrogators, said Mr. Roy, the Maharashtra police director general.

Among the trainers were several who appeared in army and navy uniforms with names and rank badges, Mr. Roy said. The Pakistani government denies any of its military was involved in training the attackers.

The former Lashkar member also said training was provided by Pakistani military officers in uniform when he attended camp in Muzaffarabad. "They were experts," he said. "They taught us about explosives, about urban combat, how to go into buildings, clear rooms of people and hold off soldiers for as long as we could."

Lashkar-e-Taiba's camps typically give new recruits three weeks of basic weapons training, according to experts and past attendees. Volunteers begin their day with a call to morning prayers before rigorous exercises and religious instruction.

Foreign recruits are sometimes trained at a special camp, according to Yong Ki Kwon, a Lashkar-e-Taiba trainee apprehended by police in northern Virginia in 2003. Mr. Kwon became a cooperating witness for the government in its investigation of the Virginia Jihad network and pleaded guilty to weapons and conspiracy charges. He described training at several Lashkar camps in Pakistan in weapons, camouflage, reconnaissance and night maneuvers, and ambush tactics.

Ghulam, a 51-year-old former Lashkar-e-Taiba member who asked that only his first name be used, says that after his camp training in the early 1990s, he was sent to help the group's fighters in Kashmir. A Pakistani who now lives in Lahore, Ghulam says he carried weapons, ammunition, clothes and food to hideouts and safe houses across the Line of Control, the de facto border between India's and Pakistan's parts of the Himalayan region. Once, he said, his group was fired on by Indian forces as they headed back toward the line, and Pakistani soldiers opened fire to give them cover. Mr. Kasab said the members of his training group knew they were preparing to launch an attack, but they weren't told details, according to the police account.

A few days before they left their camp, a group of 10 were chosen from a larger group about double in number, police said. They were told they were attacking Mumbai and details on the plan. They knew they might die, but were promised their families would get about $3,000 if they became martyrs. For three months they were kept in isolation and communicated with one another using code names.

On Nov. 23, the group set out from Karachi, Pakistan's major port on the Arabian Sea, for a journey that three days later would deliver them to the shores of Mumbai. Mr. Kasab was the only one of the 10 Mumbai assailants captured; the rest were eventually killed by security forces, most of them after being holed up in three hotels and a Jewish center for three days as they eluded commandos.

Residents in the village where Mr. Kasab grew up said he moved out a few years ago, according to a local journalist. His father, Amir, confirmed the gunman as his son after seeing a photograph of him injured after the attacks, the journalist said. His mother burst into tears and kissed the photograph. The elder Mr. Kasab said he hasn't received any money from Lashkar-e-Taiba. "I don't sell my son," he told the journalist.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Two Political Cartoons On Current Issues

This second one, I hope no one gets any ideas...being some people are already claiming Obama is the anti-Christ, which is just as preposterous...

*Clicking the cartoons should enlarge them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Sad Conversation

This afternoon my mother called me; excited about winning three prizes at a church social. Both of my parents are Roman Catholics, in their late 70's. She won a candy dish, a game about telling fortunes, and something else...but because she said "fortune telling" I lost my train of thought in our conversation. She said to me "I know you wont be happy about the fortune telling game". I told her God is very explicit in His Word concerning how He feels about fortune telling; and this is not acceptable to Him. She said "God doesn't mind it". I said "How do you know, do you know what is in His Word about this stuff?" She laughed at me saying how silly I was, and I had to fight back tears like I do so now. How many people have fallen for this stuff? Psychics, horoscopes, white magic...because they see it as harmless fun. Or as psychology--as in the case of hypnosis. How many people have fallen for a false gospel, one which asserts you can pray for the dead and pray to dead saints or get saved just by attending a church. Folks, when you die its too late. No one can pray for you nor can you as the living pray for someone who has passed on. You go to one of two places: Heaven or Hell. You can add all the man made doctrine to the Word of God you want to, but it will not change Him or His Word which abides forever. My prayer is that everyone reading this will choose life through Jesus Christ and not look to the philosophies and doctrines of men; but instead rely on the Word of God and believe it.

9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

News Article On Bentley & Strader

*Last week another article concerning Todd Bentley was published in Lakeland's major paper, The Ledger.
Strader wasted little time in writing a book on the revival. ...Wonder what the book will be called..."How To Put Out A Revival On A Shoestring Budget" or "Revival Formulas 101--Grow Your Church Overnight!" perhaps? As I read this, I thought Strader's assertions seem rather contrived, but that is to no surprise. The article directly below:

Todd Bentley Controversy Continues
By Cary McMullen

LAKELAND | Controversy continues to swirl around Todd Bentley, the evangelist who led a faith-healing revival that drew thousands to Lakeland from around the world.

Within the past few days, a phone conversation between Bentley and the pastor who invited him here and a letter from the board of Bentley’s ministry have revealed new details about Bentley’s conduct and raised questions about the legitimacy of the faith-healing revival he led between April and August.

The Rev. Stephen Strader, pastor of Ignited Church, where the Lakeland Outpouring revival began, said he talked to Bentley by phone Monday. Bentley left the revival Aug. 5 under a cloud of rumors about infidelity and drinking bouts, and Strader had not spoken with him since then. He said Bentley called from California, where he has been staying since leaving the revival.

“It was a very good conversation. He wanted to make sure our church was OK,” Strader said Tuesday.

Bentley, a 32-year-old tattooed Canadian, was controversial for his unorthodox appearance, for his rambunctious antics on stage and for his claims of healings, which some religious leaders said were overblown.

Strader said Bentley defended himself against a couple of allegations contained in a letter from the board of directors of Fresh Fire Ministries, the British Columbia-based organization Bentley ran until August. The letter, released Friday on the ministry’s Web site (, broke months of silence about Bentley’s status.

In the letter, the board stated that Bentley recently gave his formal resignation from the Fresh Fire board of directors. The board also criticized the evangelist for an ongoing inappropriate relationship with a former intern and for failing, until now, to submit to supervised rehabilitation.

“Todd Bentley has demonstrated himself unfaithful to his wife by entering into a relationship with another woman while still legally married. He has consumed more alcohol on a few occasions than is prudent or becoming a Christian leader (or any believer for that matter). His sins have been sins of the flesh and we do not defend them,” the letter said.

The letter described how Bentley’s downfall came about, blaming the stress of the every-night revival services that led to burnout and a lack of oversight. Bentley began having an “increased familiarity” with the intern, and in July, he told his wife, Shonnah, he wanted a divorce, the letter said.

“To our knowledge, Todd’s relationship with the female staff-member, who was a former intern and also, at his initiative, a live-in nanny in his house for over a year, is still ongoing. ... While it has been maintained that no physical contact happened between Todd and the former female intern until after he filed for legal separation from Shonnah, in the Boards’ eyes, the nature of the present relationship between Todd and his former staff member is that of adultery,” the letter states.

Strader said Bentley did not deny the relationship, and Strader said he agrees with the position of the board.

“I’m uncomfortable with (the relationship). I would probably stand with their letter at this point,” he said.

But Strader said Bentley told him he did not have a problem with alcohol as described by the board’s letter. He said Bentley admitted he had gotten drunk in the weeks he was in Lakeland, but the incidents were isolated and he has resolved not to drink again.

“He was apologetic for the harm he caused to us and the body of Christ. ... (But) he told me, ‘I’m not an alcoholic,’” Strader said.

The board’s letter said Bentley had not seen his wife and three children since July, but Strader said Bentley has maintained contact with them. Bentley has not been to their home in British Columbia because of visa problems, but he has talked to his family by phone and e-mail, Strader said.

The Lakeland Outpouring drew criticism from many in the evangelical and Pentecostal communities for its claims of hundreds of miraculous healings and even claims that people were raised from the dead because of prayers offered at the revival. The Assemblies of God and other groups also cautioned that some of Bentley’s claims of mystical experiences such as visiting with angels and figures from the Bible were suspect.

However, the Fresh Fire board’s letter praised Bentley’s leadership of the revival and reiterated earlier declarations that the miracles, prophecies and conversions that took place during the revival were authentic manifestations of God’s presence.

Strader echoed that point of view and said he continues to receive “testimonies” from people who believe they were healed as a result of the revival.

Both the letter and Strader indicated that Bentley intends to move to Fort Mill, S.C., in early 2009 to undergo supervised rehabilitation from Rick Joyner, leader of MorningStar Ministries and a fellow evangelist. The letter held out the possibility that Bentley could return to the ministry if he completes the rehabilitation process.

Strader said he has a new book about to be published that will give his perspective on the revival. He said Ignited Church lost “several hundreds of thousands of dollars” during the past few weeks of the revival as expenses outstripped contributions, but he said the church had anticipated this, set aside a reserve fund and ended up breaking even financially. The church grew by about 10 percent and now has about 550 members, he said.

“We’re very happy. I gave Todd a great report,” he said.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Born The King of Kings

This is a great song--I have always liked this song! I hear it on the radio mostly during the Christmas season. Not sure who sings it or the title (thinking its called "This Little Child"), but whoever created this presentation with the music did a great job! And it's a great message on what Christmas is really about.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Update: Death of Walmart Employee

A week ago, I wrote about a worker trampled by people at a Long Island Walmart on Black Friday. Apparently some members of his family have decided to sue Walmart; asserting the circular issued by Walmart promoting sales items on Black Friday created an atmosphere conducive to instigating frenzied behavior. Now my heart goes out to the family, I truly feel for their loss, BUT I personally do not believe its Walmart fault that certain individuals behaved like barbarians. Would you like to meet such a group at any sale? I sure wouldn’t. No, something is wrong when people are so selfish, so motivated by materialistic desires, they trample over a man and never look back as he laid there dying. Granted, Walmart is motivated by making profits—-as they are all year round. Yet, I would think if this family sued anyone; it should be the murderous stampeders as opposed Walmart. I know others were injured themselves, pushed in this sea of greedy self-centered mayhem, whereas some could had care less. Go after them, I say. Nevertheless, in this family’s pain, I understand their anger. I just think its misdirected. To me its like excusing the people who trampled upon him without concern. That’s my take for now…unless new information arises to persuade me otherwise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Grady-Hindsight On Lakeland

Lee Grady speaks out on Lakeland. He puts way too much faith in apostolic accountability. Thats worth a few gum balls with the NAR crew and its constituency. A vicious circle indeed for can the blind lead the blind? Particularly those who will only listen to their heretical peers? If you are born again you have the anointing abiding in you--you have the Comforter in you who will also teach you all things. MANY people were showing Bentley the errors, many where questioning his character, and the WORD OF GOD should had sufficed if truly rooted in Bentley and he lived accordingly. But one reason the Lakeland circus went on was people went on supplying the ring master with cash, and adoration. Like fellows came out to sell their wares on his coattails, and GOD TV gained an even bigger audience... You can detect the "NAR apostolic influence" in the article. Sigh.

20/20 Hindsight: What I Hope We Learned From the Lakeland Revival
by Lee Grady

Looking back at what happened in Lakeland, I wonder if we can agree on what went wrong.

It has been four months since Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley fled the scene of Florida’s Lakeland Revival amid rumors of a moral failure. When Bentley vanished in August, the crowds thinned, God TV stopped broadcasting services, the meetings eventually shut down and Bentley’s worship leader took the popular music of the revival on the road.

Meanwhile, many people were left scratching their heads. Some were angry with Bentley for leaving his wife. Some were confused because their faith had been energized during the six-monthlong experience. Many charismatic ministry leaders defended the revival, saying that it was never supposed to focus on a man. Others blamed Bentley’s critics for the revival’s demise.

"Ministers of the gospel need both godly character and powerful anointing. Why did we ever settle for the idea that we should have one without the other."
Late last week the board of directors of Fresh Fire Ministries—which Bentley resigned from in August—released a lengthy statement to update its supporters on Bentley’s condition. The letter confirmed that (1) Bentley is “resolute in his intentions” to divorce his wife, Shonnah—and that “he admits to being 100% responsible for the divorce”; (2) his relationship with his former intern is ongoing; (3) the evangelist drank inappropriately during the revival; and (4) he has yet to enter into a clear system of accountability with Christian leaders who have offered to help him.

The six-page statement, which defended the impact of the Lakeland Revival, did not excuse Bentley’s behavior. “We believe there are currently no biblical grounds for Todd to leave his wife and children,” the board members said. They added: “The nature of the present relationship between Todd and his former staff member is that of adultery.”

Lakeland was a painful chapter in the history of our movement, not just because such a highly visible preacher made such embarrassing moral choices but also because Christian leaders never agreed on what went wrong or how it could have been avoided. Now that the accident scene is in our rearview mirror, I wonder if we can agree on at least some points. Here are some lessons I hope we have learned by now:

Lesson #1: Accountability. Accountability. Accountability. I wish just saying the word over and over could impress the concept in our minds. Leaders must live according to biblical standards. Period. Bentley’s board admitted in their statement that after the Lakeland meetings went into full swing, Bentley developed troubling behavior patterns. That would have been the right time for someone with apostolic courage to demand that Bentley step down for a season until he got his spiritual life in order. If we really want New Testament miracles and New Testament impact, maybe we should embrace New Testament discipline.

Lesson #2: The one-man show is over. New Testament ministry is about teams, not hotshots. Paul shared the workload with Barnabas, Phoebe, Clement, Priscilla, Aquilla and many others. And he protested when people tried to make him out to be a god. When will we learn that the superstar syndrome actually thwarts genuine revival because it causes audiences to focus on man instead of Jesus?

I know there are those who insist that Bentley didn’t want people to notice him. But if that’s true, why did he cover himself with tattoos a few years ago, when he was in the ministry? I’m not a stickler about tattoos, but in Bentley’s case they definitely should have been a red flag. Anyone who craves that much attention needs counseling before they get on a stage.

Lesson #3: Chill out. The Fresh Fire board, in last week’s statement, admitted that one of their biggest mistakes was allowing Bentley’s meetings to go on week after week without a break. Bentley tried to preach continually without rest, and as a result he burned out. Most likely his staff burned out too. No Sabbath, no time for family, no time to unwind. No human being can keep such a schedule without imploding.

Isn’t this also true for the American church scene? Our rule has become, “The show must go on.” We are driven to keep the seats full and the money coming in. The more we work, the more we grow—so we have to work harder to maintain the growth and pay the bills. The pace becomes more and more frantic until the engines fail and the wheels fall off. Building God’s way requires patience, pacing, regular maintenance and plenty of downtime to receive His ongoing guidance and grace.

Lesson #4: Character is more important than anointing. Some revival groupies disagree with me on this. They’re so desperate for a display of miracles that they’ll take a zap from someone who has questionable morals or shoddy values. They don’t mind who lays hands on them as long as they are thrown to the floor while the crowd cheers.

I love revival too, and I’ve spent time on the floor soaking in God’s presence. I love the anointing. But please: Can you show me in the Word of God that character is not required of leaders? The Bible says imposters who work miracles will spend eternity in hell. Working miracles does not win anyone brownie points with God. Ministers of the gospel need both godly character and powerful anointing. Why did we ever settle for the idea that we should have one without the other?

Lesson #5: Lay hands on no man quickly. Many of us are still grieving over the fact that a large number of charismatic leaders stood on a stage in Lakeland in June and publicly commissioned Bentley. Some praised him for his integrity and humility while others prophesied about the nations he will evangelize and the increased spiritual influence he will wield. Today those proclamations (readily available on You Tube) seem hollow and embarrassing.

Some who stood on that stage insist that God told them to do a public commissioning service. One recently hinted to me that it was a mistake. I’ll let them sort that out. Personally, it saddens me that our movement has been tarnished by what appears to be a serious lack of discernment. In the crazy world of independent ministries—which already lack proper accountability—leaders should take the time to investigate a preacher before commending him on international television.

Lesson #6: You can’t have revival without repentance. The word “revival” is thrown around loosely these days. If a few people fall on the floor, get goose bumps or see gold dust, we are ready to christen it a revival and put it on television as soon as possible. After all, if large crowds gather, it must be God!

I’m tired of imitations. History shows that genuine revival is more than a bunch of blessed bodies in a pile. We need more than angel feathers, emotional euphoria and limp pep talks about getting high on Jesus. We need the strong Word of God that convicts hearts, demands repentance, slays sin and has the power to produce converts who will withstand temptation.

With Lakeland behind us, let’s celebrate the testimonies that came out of it, enjoy the songs we sang during it and pray for the restoration of the man God used to start it. Then, let’s learn from our mistakes and press on to better things.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ministry Answers for Bentley's 'Sins of the Flesh'

Ministry Answers for Bentley's 'Sins of the Flesh'
St. Petersburg Times

TAMPA | There are at least two sides to Todd Bentley, the unconventional, charismatic preacher who ministered to tens of thousands of people at a Lakeland revival earlier this year.

Up first, the tattooed revivalist with a classic bad-boy-gets-religion salvation story who said he spent hours praying and meditating in preparation for nightly services. And then, the darker Bentley, a man with a disintegrating marriage and a budding relationship with a former intern-turned-staff member, who also served as live-in nanny to his three children in Canada.

In a letter released Friday to supporters, Fresh Fire Ministries' leaders detailed Bentley's shortcomings in an attempt to answer lingering questions about what led to the preacher's downfall.

Bentley, 32, left Lakeland abruptly in August after leading the Florida Outpouring, a revival that lasted more than 100 days and attracted attention and attendees from around the world. The services centered on prophesy and faith healings.

When Bentley left, Fresh Fire leaders said the preacher had planned to take his ministry on the road for some time. The ministry, which also announced that Bentley and his wife, Shonnah, were separating, maintained that sexual immorality did not factor into that decision.

But the board's most recent letter described a different scenario:

"Todd Bentley has demonstrated himself unfaithful to his wife by entering into a relationship with another woman while still legally married. He has consumed more alcohol on a few occasions than is prudent or becoming (of) a Christian leader. … His sins have been sins of the flesh, and we do not defend them."

Bentley could not be reached for comment. Pastors in the bay area who both supported and condemned his controversial ministry methods, which once included kicking a woman in the face, did not return calls for comment.

A representative at Fresh Fire Ministries, which is based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, said the ministry no longer had staff members who could take calls from the media.

The directors' letter also laid bare their displeasure with Bentley's actions since he left Lakeland: The preacher had agreed to submit to counseling by a group of ministers but has not yet done so.

He has promised to move to Fort Mill, S.C., for counseling early next year.

Bentley remains "resolute" in his intentions to divorce his wife, and claims responsibility for the split, the directors wrote.

The board members do not condone the impending divorce or Bentley's ongoing relationship with another woman.

Lynne Breidenbach, former spokeswoman for Fresh Fire Ministries, resigned in August, just as Bentley left. She said she was uncomfortable with the direction his ministry was taking.

"It's a very sad situation," she said, "but this is what happens when people are allowed to minister unchecked."

New Statement From FreshFire

Titus 1:13-16
13)That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith,
14)not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth.
15)To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted.
16)They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Freshfire Ministries has come out with another P.R. statement on their website. When are people going to stop making excuses for Todd Bentley? Bentley’s bad and sinful behavior is not acceptable nor excusable; nor did this so-called revival adhere to God’s Word from its early beginnings. Sure, it had a little smidgen of Word in it--along with new age themes, apostolic and prophetic cameo appearances to bless one’s star-struck noggin, worship music to accompany gyrating body parts, howling and roaring animal charades…and voila--you’ve got a superficial revival—with dvds, t-shirts, key-chains, and a hole in the consumer’s wallet. Reading their statement, one might gather they believe stress was a major factor for setting a match aflame to Bentley's britches. By the way all people get tired: they get exhausted from working, from stress, from trials in their lives! Exhaustion does not make someone say, “wow I am exhausted thus I am tempted sexually therefore I doth act upon my lust”. Bologna. He had been "acting out" a long time before Lakeland rolled around. Apparently he has yet to stop this relationship with the other woman--a FreshFire intern/nanny; nor has he seen his kids since summer! Where is genuine repentance? Nowhere from where I can see.

People questioned the legitimacy of the revival long before Bentley’s latest discretions became public-- not just because he got caught with his fingers in the cookie jar. People questioned it because it was false, crooked, and filled with error… Is it wrong to expect godly behavior from church leaders? Is it wrong to warn people of false prophets and dangerous teachings? Is it wrong to question ministerial manipulation and fraudulent claims? Is it wrong to question those operating in the ways of Balaam? Is it wrong to question someone boastful and proud; seeking to magnify himself instead of Jesus Christ? There is nothing wrong with defending the Word in truth and speaking out against falsehood. Godly character in leadership should matter in the Church. And it certainly matters when it comes to a world that is watching. Part of FreshFire's statement is directly below:


Nov 28 - From the Board of Directors
November 28, 2008

Greetings to our FFM Partners—past and present.

Please allow us to begin by sincerely apologizing for the long silence between our first two letters and this one. We will do our best to help you understand why it has taken us so long to respond to your many legitimate requests for information. Please also know that we write this letter as an explanation of our silence and not a defense of it.

We have received letters, emails and phone calls from many of you during the last three months, expressing sympathy and support as well as frustration and disappointment. We ourselves have been on an emotional rollercoaster for some time now and have found that looking to the Lord for His new mercies every morning enables us to make it through the day.

In light of our lack of communication, some of you have felt the need to withdraw your partnership with Fresh Fire Ministries; we completely understand and both release and bless you in your walk with God. Others have been compelled to discontinue their giving as a result of the economic crisis in America and in other countries around the world. We thank you for the many years of faithful support, and wish you to know that it was not in vain; more on that later. Nonetheless if you must go, for whatever reason, we trust that the Lord will lead you in connecting with the many other excellent ministries out there faithfully advancing His kingdom. Some of you have received so much good word and powerful impartation through FFM, that you might consider starting your own ministry.

Moving on, let us first say that we know, without a shadow of doubt, that Lakeland was and is an authentic move of God. Having known Todd well for many years, both his amazing strengths and his areas of weakness, we can say without reservation that the move of God in Lakeland, which began at Ignited Church, was genuine. We have never seen, in the history of this ministry, a greater quantity and quality of the miraculous demonstration of God’s healing power. As the Lord began to pour out His glory in Ignited Church and in the many venues that followed, Todd’s spirit was as pure as it has ever been and he was intensely hungry for more of God’s presence. He would spend hours soaking each day before the evening meeting, and once the worship had begun, Todd would become lost in the presence of God. The manifestation of amazingly accurate words of knowledge and astounding miracles flowed effortlessly night after night.

As the Outpouring continued, the Board of Directors and other leaders in Lakeland suggested that Todd take a few days off each week to rest and refresh. We learned from experience, however, and the post-Lakeland counsel of Christian leaders, that the anointing can be addictive. Significant personal issues in Todd’s life and make-up, as well as, flaws in the functioning structure of our leadership resulted in an impossible pace to maintain… seven nights a week for more than 15 weeks on end. We fully accept the responsibility as a Board of Directors for this lapse in judgment; we should have required that not just Todd and the team, but the entire Outpouring rest a minimum of one day a week. God himself rested after six days work as a pattern for His creation, and if the yoke of the Lord is easy and His burden is light, then He has no need to exhaust His people in a fresh encounter with Him.

As fatigue began to set in, significant personal issues in Todd and in his relationship with Shonnah were exacerbated. This, together with his increased familiarity with a female staff member created more tension in the Bentleys’ relationship. As the pressure of leading the revival continued, media attention increased resulting in less and less personal time. With the development of more friction in his marriage relationship, Todd began to make irrational decisions. Alcohol, movies and leisure time spent with a few of the younger, more impressionable members of his staff and road-crew began to replace the hours of soaking in the presence of God in which Todd had engaged during the early days of the Outpouring. Finally, Todd began to burn out, and things came to a head in his relationship with Shonnah. He was unwilling to put distance between himself and the female staff member and ultimately told Shonnah he wanted a separation.

The fact that the revival was in Florida, three thousand miles from our home office in Abbotsford, BC Canada, meant that the entire administration for the revival was provided by a rotating stream of church leaders and Board members who would assist behind the scenes and on the platform for a few weeks at a time and then return to Canada, usually on the verge of total exhaustion. Trying to keep up with the logistics of administrating the revival, including the massive challenge of moving from venue to venue until we finally arrived in the tent along with the media circus that ensued shortly afterwards, meant that communication was greatly inhibited between the leaders involved. Many early signs that something was drastically wrong were overlooked. By the time we became fully aware and/or were willing to admit how dysfunctional things had become behind the scenes, the damage had already been done.

As to our long silence in writing to you, please let us explain. We have been in much contact with Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, John Arnott and other members of a team focused on restoring Todd, seeking to do all within our power to encourage him to embrace a process of counseling and genuine accountability. In deference to these leaders we have refrained from communicating at all until we could be assured that we were all on the same page. At the same time, senior members of the leadership team here at Fresh Fire as well as members of the Board of Directors have been stretched to the breaking point in attempting to deal with all of the attention created not just by the revelations of Todd’s marriage problems and personal issues, but also by the five months of revival preceding their disclosure. Since then, many false accusations and rumors surrounding both Todd and the Lakeland Outpouring have attempted to use Todd’s failures as a springboard to question the legitimacy of the revival. Consequently, key leaders have had to step back and rest in order not to burn-out themselves. This, coupled with the busy schedules of the restoration team, all of whom travel internationally, has made getting everyone on the same page difficult.

We so appreciate all those who have stepped in to assist the FFM Board in a process of restoration for Todd, but what we have come to realize is that ultimately, the buck stops with the FFM Board of Directors. No one knows Todd better, or has more access to all the facts from both sides than we do.

Again, we apologize for not writing to you sooner. We struggled for a while with the question of how to satisfy two important obligations – that of honoring Todd, while believing for his restoration and at the same time, our obligation to be completely honest and open with you as our partners. Through much prayer and with the Lord’s help, we hope to satisfy both those obligations with this letter.

There is a difference between covering Todd and covering for him. We refuse to expose explicit details of his failings over the last few months, but neither will we pretend there haven’t been any. “Covering” is a biblical term as in “love covers over a multitude of sins” or as in the case when Noah’s two sons draped him in a blanket when he unwittingly discovered what happens when you drink too much fermented grape juice. “Cover for” is a contemporary idiom meaning to lie or misrepresent the truth in order to enable another to get away with or to continue to be involved in illicit behavior. We have been slow in responding up until now, because we wanted to bring you a positive report, full of hope and the promise of restoration. All of that is still entirely possible and we pray to that end, however, further silence on our part would be misrepresenting the truth by allowing you to believe that what we said in our first two statements (which were true to the best of our knowledge at the time of their writing) is still the case. Unfortunately that is not so.

Here are the facts:

1.Todd has yet to enter into a clear system of accountability with the leaders he identified that would be involved in such a process. Todd has visited Rick Joyner in Fort Mills, South Carolina, and indicated early on in September that he would be moving there soon to become a part of the community there and to receive counseling from Rick Joyner, Jack Deere, Bill Johnson and others that Rick might feel to bring alongside. Todd is in regular contact with Rick Joyner and has agreed together with Rick that he will move to Fort Mills during the first few months of 2009.

2. Having spoken with Todd in recent days, he is resolute in his intentions to divorce Shonnah, and in his mind, the restoration he is seeking is one which would not include reconciliation with his wife. Todd admits to being 100% responsible for the divorce.

3. It also needs to be clarified that Shonnah has in no way initiated this divorce and has no present intention to do so at any time in the future. She is understandably hurt by Todd’s infidelity, but is not asking or pressing for a divorce. The legal separation from Shonnah was initiated completely by Todd and he has not seen her or the children since the last week in July. To our knowledge, Todd’s relationship with the female staff-member, who was a former intern and also, at his initiative, a live-in nanny in his house for over a year, is still ongoing. We believe that there are currently no biblical grounds for Todd to leave his wife and children. While it has been maintained that no physical contact happened between Todd and the former female intern until after he filed for legal separation from Shonnah, in the Boards’ eyes, the nature of the present relationship between Todd and his former staff member is that of adultery.

Having said all that, our sincere desire is to see Todd first restored to Shonnah and the children, though at present this seems unlikely. We are optimistic that should Todd keep his word and move to Morning Star, Rick and his team are well equipped to be the Lord’s instruments in a process toward restoration. With genuine accountability, inner healing, counseling and deliverance we are confident that it is entirely possible for Todd to come through and gain victory over a number of significant personal issues with which he is struggling.

We love Todd dearly and so appreciate the ground he has broken, not just for us, but for many tens if not hundreds of thousands within the body of Christ. Todd’s genuine love for the Lord, his hunger and passion for souls and his tangible demonstration of the love of God in miracles, signs and wonders will be remembered for many years to come. Todd is a champion in the Global paradigm shift from a lethargic and dunamis-deficient church to an empowered body of believers carrying out the Great Commission in a mighty demonstration of the Spirit’s power. That’s how we, and we think many others, will choose to regard Todd even if he doesn’t allow the Holy Ghost to work a process of restoration in his life. If he will, and we pray sincerely for that, then only God knows what can be accomplished through this young fire-brand’s life.

It is our deep desire that our brother Todd should be restored, and we are still hopeful that this will be achieved. Please let us make it clear, that although what Todd has done is inexcusable, it is not unforgiveable. We do not judge him unworthy of a second, third or even fourth chance, and we hope that you don’t either. The Lord spoke clearly that those desiring mercy themselves would be well advised to give it to others, and the Lord has brought amazing goodness and life out of far worse circumstances.

The Lord has been speaking to us about sins of commission and sins of omission. Many may look at Todd and judge him for what he has done and excuse or justify themselves on the basis that they have not failed or sinned (missed the mark) in the areas in which Todd has failed. But if we are going to judge Todd by what he has done, then we need to include all that he has done. And if we will excuse ourselves on the basis of what we have not done, then we must also take into account all that we have not done.

Todd Bentley has demonstrated himself unfaithful to his wife by entering into a relationship with another woman while still legally married. He has consumed more alcohol on a few occasions than is prudent or becoming a Christian leader (or any believer for that matter). His sins have been sins of the flesh and we do not defend them.

He has, however, also seen over 1 million people make decisions for Christ in the 10 years of his ministry. He has been instrumental in seeing the Lord heal tens of thousands of people (if not more) of all manner of sickness and disease through the personal laying on of his hands and who knows how many others vicariously through television and the internet, or though the prayers of those who received the healing anointing through Todd’s ministry. He has been used by the Lord to give countless accurate prophetic words and words of knowledge to thousands of people around the globe, and his testimony and passion for God just since April 2 in Lakeland, Florida has touched literally millions through the internet and television.

Jesus said, “They are my children who obey my commandments”, and if the theme of the Ten commandments in the Old Testament is “Thou Shall Not”, then the theme of the Two Greatest Commandments as outlined by Jesus in the New Testament in Mark 15: 30-31 is most definitely, “Thou Shall!”

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength… (and)…You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (NIV).

As is also said in 1 John 4:20-21

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

How many believers have become almost vicious in their attack against Todd, demonizing not only him but his ministry and everything he has ever done? What sort of spirit do you think is behind this? And how many around the world are sick and dying and unsaved because of what we, the global body of believers, have not done? Because we have not been obedient to preach the gospel, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils (Matt. 10:8). Nothing is defined by what it is not, but rather by what it is; not by what it does not do, but by what it does do.

What Todd has done should not only be defined by his present failure. He has raised the bar on what is possible. He has broken a barrier of sorts for all of us and made a pathway into new possibilities. This is what you partnered with - not a man but a transferable anointing and an ability to reach into a combined realm of prophetic revelation and signs and wonders manifestation! Guard your deposit and don’t let the enemy’s backlash rob you of what you have already received. At the same time we openly admit that what Todd has done at the height of his supernatural breakthrough has resulted in a tragic breakdown in the natural causing great pain to many, but to none so deeply as to his wife and children.

Yet in all this we have been challenged and chastised by the Lord to remain gentle in our hearts toward him while we pray and encourage him to do the right thing and to come into accountability.

Galatians 6:1 is very clear in its instruction on how and with what attitude we are to restore one who has fallen,

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (NIV).

Maintaining gentleness of heart towards Todd means that we do not write him off or wish any manner of evil upon him. We need to continue to pray for him and to keep a door of relationship open to him. We are willing to assist in the process of his restoration, messy though it may be. Neither does a gentle heart towards Todd mean condoning what he has done nor enabling him to live in sin by either our support or our silence.

So please pray for Todd and also for Shonnah and their family. Pray with fervency that the Lord would do a mighty miracle for the number one purpose of bringing vindication to His Name, but also that we might see our brother restored. We cannot control a person’s choices, nor have we any desire to do so. What we can control is our response to their choices and see the Lord take what the enemy means for evil and work it together for good.

We at Fresh Fire Ministries are presently in a season of waiting on God. We are in the process of re-defining our government structure with assistance from leaders in Bethel (the church pastored by Bill Johnson in Redding, California) and others affiliated with Morning Star—Rick Joyner’s ministry in South Carolina. In August, Todd verbally stepped down from the FFM Canadian Board of Directors and has recently given written notice of his resignation. With Todd no longer at the helm we are looking to identify vision-casters from within and to refocus the ministry’s endeavors in keeping with the original mandate of Fresh Fire Ministries. In the coming weeks we will provide you, our partners with a detailed update of our vision and emerging leadership structure.

*it continues on about ministry in Uganda..., full article can be read on home page of the Freshfire Ministries.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Taliban Attacks Girls With Acid

I am disgusted. The Taliban recently attacked school girls and female teachers—15 in all; throwing acid upon them. Upholding their most unholy cause. This is so pathetic--they are so deceived. Apparently some of the perpetrators have been arrested in Afghanistan although it is speculated they cross over from Pakistan. Imagine that. Fearing particularly the education of girls, they rather torture and kill people. It almost makes one head hurts—-as they fear changes in their culture, somehow their barbaric godless murderous terrorizing actions are less evil? The story below was published November 26. Since then several suspects have been arrested.


Afghan acid attack girls warned not to go to school

KABUL (AFP) — Schoolgirls sprayed with acid in southern Afghanistan had been warned not to go to school a week before the attack, a deputy minister said Wednesday.

Authorities have arrested 10 suspects in connection with the November 12 attack in which two men on a motorbike used a water pistol to spray acid on the girls as they arrived at school in the city of Kandahar.

They say the attack, which drew international condemnation, was the work of extremist Islamic Taliban, which barred girls from going to school when they were in government between 1996 and 2001.

"Evidence shows and witnesses say they (the girls) were threatened a week before not to go to school," deputy interior minister General Mohammad Daud told reporters in Kabul.

Daud said four of the 10 arrested men had confessed their involvement.

"The leader of the group and the person who sprayed the acid have confessed to their crimes. The confession of two others is still being studied," he said.

Eleven girls and four female teachers were in the group that was attacked and most were protected by their burkas, all-covering garments that most Afghan women wear in public.

Six girls were treated in hospital for burns. A 17-year-old girl was badly hurt and transferred to hospital in Kabul.

A state attorney told the same press conference courts would demand the highest punishment for the crime and that information showed the attack was "organised across Afghan borders", a reference to the tribal belt of Pakistan where Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies have bases.

"This is Taliban and Al-Qaeda policy to fight culture and civilisation," said the lawyer, who is named only Mohibullah.

The Taliban have denied involvement, but the insurgents have most often been blamed for a series of attacks on Afghanistan's education system, with about 230 schools targetted in the year to June and dozens of people killed.

About half of the attacks have been on girls' schools even though they make up only 15 percent of schools in the country, according to a report to the UN Security Council this month.

Also see: 10 arrested in Afghan acid attack