With the beginning of a new year, we are debuting our new TPE Blog, on our own domain. This blog will remain here as an archive of our 2007 blog entries.
To visit our new blog, go to tpe.agblogger.org.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Monday, December 17, 2007
I'm excited that, on January 1, 2008, we are debuting a new family of Today's Pentecostal Evangel blogs. We are moving our blogs to our own domain, AGblogger. There will be a new TPE blog, our Answers blog, and five individual blogs by our staff: Kirk Noonan, Scott Harrup, Christina Quick, Jennifer McClure, and myself.
This blog will remain accessible as an archive.
We invite you to visit often and leave comments. We value your input.
Posted by Ken Horn at 3:07 PM
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tuesday December 11 2007 - 2:35 PM ET
Parents of Roger & Kirk Talley Involved In Automobile Accident (UPDATED)
MORRISTOWN, TN (Singing News) - In a statement from Kirk Talley:
"Mom is out of ICU, and was moved to a therapy facility in Morristown for several weeks of physical therapy. The doctors will evaluate her this week and give their recommendations as to what we should do next. The Talley family appreciates your prayers during this difficult time."
Original Posting (12/3/2007)
Saturday night, R.C. (Red) and Cornie Talley, parents of Roger and Kirk Talley were injured in an automobile accident. Cornie is in ICU with a lacerated liver, two fractures of the spine, and internal bleeding. R.C. has been released from the hospital and is doing ok, with just some cuts, scrapes, and some stiches on his head. Please keep the Talley family in your prayers. Updates will be posted as information is available.
Visit www.singingnews.com for updates.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
By AMY FORLITI
Associated Press Writer
As Tiffany Johnson was growing up, she loved to go fishing with her dad.
At twilight, Tom Johnson would tell his little girl that it was time to go home, but she always suggested they wait a little longer, try a little harder.
Sure enough, the wait usually paid off and Tiff would whisper, “Dad, I got one!”
“She was always such a patient person,” Tom Johnson said Tuesday in Minneapolis. “Fishing was something that was just our time, the one special thing we did together.”
Tiffany Johnson had been working as a missionary for about three years and was at a training center in Arvada, Colo., on Sunday when a gunman entered and opened fire.
Tom Johnson said his daughter survived the ride to the hospital and tried to describe the gunman in the ambulance. But she had been shot eight times. She died on the operating table.
“I always worried about her going to Africa, and then this happens,” Tom Johnson said. “I don't know how anybody could make it through something like this without having faith.”
Family members remember the 26-year-old as a loving, generous person who dedicated her life to helping others. They said she loved working with children and wanted to have a family of her own.
She wanted “to change the world by loving on people,” her father said.
Tiffany began working with Youth With a Mission in 2006 as a student, and received additional training to become a staff person.
“She was energetic for the Lord,” Tom Johnson said.
Her work with YWAM was scheduled to end in March and she planned to return home to attend the University of Minnesota. She wanted to study international business, with a focus on Japanese culture.
The family has established a memorial fund at an Assemblies of God church to help raise money for future youth missionaries. Tom Johnson said his daughter often struggled to come up with funding for her missions, and she would have wanted to give support to others. Donations may be sent to the Tiffany Johnson Memorial Fund, Cedar Valley Church, 8600 Bloomington Ave., Bloomington, MN 55425.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Welcome to Paradise is a welcome change from the usual cinematic fare — a truly family-oriented film. This heart warming story is entertaining while conveying spiritual lessons of value in real life.
The Dove Foundation, a nonprofit pro-family organization established to encourage and promote the creation, production, distribution and consumption of wholesome family entertainment, awarded Welcome to Paradise four out of five Doves and said this of the film:
This fantastic story is about love, faith, endurance and forgiveness. Crystal Bernard brings her character to life with her easy-going style and sweet smile that makes you part of the congregation. This uplifting movie includes some wonderful music and inspirational messages that will leave the entire family blessed and entertained.
With a rare MPAA rating of G, Welcome to Paradise stars Crystal Bernard, Brian Dennehy, Bobby Edner, Lou Beatty, Jr., William Shockley, Jim O'Heirn, Connie Ray, Beth Grant, and Brad Stine. It was directed by Brent Huff, who also co-wrote the screenplay, and produced by Patrick Stack.
The story charts the challenges of a female minister in a small town (Paradise). It is excellent family, and Christian, entertainment. A sequel, Christmas in Paradise, is already in the works.
Posted by Ken Horn at 5:43 PM
Wintry weather earlier this week pulled the power plug for thousands across the Midwest. One of the hardest hit states was Oklahoma, with 80,000 in Tulsa alone still in the dark. Monday the Red Cross set up a shelter in Coweta (Okla.) Assembly’s Outreach Center. The City of Coweta, a suburb of Tulsa, and the Red Cross are staffing the shelter. The Red Cross is providing food, drinks and cots.
“They’re saying the power won’t be on until the 18th,” Pastor Gary Rogers says. “The shelter will be open as long as needed.”
In Coweta, Rogers says about half are without power. This evening’s church services, he says, will go on as planned. Those staying at the shelter have been invited to come to the services but the coffeehouse will be made available for any who choose not to attend.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
By Scott Harrup
Originally printed November 27, 2005
A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, is small. Other works by Charles Dickens — David Copperfield or A Tale of Two Cities, for example — are phonebooks by comparison. But Carol’s characters stand as giants in the world’s collective Christmas lore.
Front and center lurks Ebenezer Scrooge.
“Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!”
Scrooge and his business partner, Jacob Marley, amassed their wealth with no thought to anyone but themselves. After Marley died, Scrooge continued their business, working round the clock for the next pound sterling. Nothing and no one else mattered.
Early in the book, when two representatives of a charity solicited a Christmas Eve donation on behalf of the poor, Scrooge had no qualms about rejecting their plea.
“It’s not my business,” Scrooge returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly.”
But sitting at home alone, with Christmas only hours away, Scrooge had an unexpected visit from his dead partner. Marley had discovered too late that the “business” of others really did concern him.
“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
A Christmas Carol is fantasy. Dickens penned the caricature of a flinty Victorian miser and introduced a quartet of ghosts to guide him to Christmases past, present and future. In the process, Dickens created enough literary insulation to let readers examine their own bent toward selfishness from a comfortable distance.
But the Book that narrates the first Christmas is more direct. Our deepest emotions and personal traits come to the surface with glaring clarity in the Bible.
In the first place, all of us are separated from God. We all have an evil nature. Like Scrooge, every one of us deserves the title of “sinner.”
The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one (Psalm 14:2,3, NIV).
But God reaches out to us in love. Through Jesus Christ, He offers us the chance to come to Him in faith and be transformed from the inside out.
To all who received [Christ], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12).
Once we take that leap of faith, everything should be OK, right? As long as we’ve made our peace with God, what other concerns could we possibly have? But this “everything’s OK as long as I’m OK” philosophy is really the same attitude Scrooge expressed; only it sounds holier when “God” happens to be mentioned.
God never intended our walk of faith to be a private matter. God connects the love that people are to show Him with the love they are to show to one another. Jesus explained this connection in Matthew 22:37-40.
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the fi rst and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. Think about what He was saying. “All the Law and the Prophets” — in other words, all of God’s Word and its detailed guidelines for living — boils down to these two concepts: Love God passionately, and love others selflessly.
These two supreme duties in life are inseparable. We may think we have a deep relationship with God. We may believe that we really do love Him with all that is in us. But the way to test that is by examining how much we love others. James said it this way:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).
It’s easy to get that backwards, to place enormous emphasis on all the do’s and don’ts we think will keep us from becoming “polluted by the world.” But James, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, didn’t start his definition of religion with a list of do’s and don’ts. He started it with a brief list of other people who are in need.
Once our view of our faith expands and we take in the needs of those around us, the Bible calls on us to act on that awareness. Listen to James again.
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:15,16).
So how do we rehabilitate our inner Scrooge? Consider these simple biblical mandates.
• Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfi ll the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).
• Do nothing out of selfi sh ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
• As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).
Dickens ended his little Christmas morality play by transforming Scrooge.
He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.
It’s a happy image, but incomplete. Dickens was writing a fable. He could afford to let Scrooge pick himself up by his moral bootstraps. The Bible reminds us that that simply isn’t possible. What is possible — thanks to the One who came that first Christmas — is to allow God to do the picking up for us.
Then, standing tall and walking through life with joy, we can give outer evidence of our inner change by reaching in love to the hurting and lonely and lost around us.
Scott Harrup is senior associate editor of
Today’s Pentecostal Evangel.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Convoy of Hope, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, is once
again on the road, this time to flooded areas of the Pacific
Northwest. The international compassion organization, affiliated
with the Assemblies of God, is sending a disaster response team and
semi-truck loaded with more than 42,000 pounds of relief supplies
from America's heartland to a far corner of America.
Members of Convoy of Hope's US Disaster Response Team will arrive in
Oregon today and begin preparations to distribute cleaning supplies,
bottled water, PowerAde, MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), and N-95 paper
facemasks to flooding victims in Washington and Oregon.
The organization anticipates establishing distribution sites in
Chehalis and Centralia, Washington upon arrival, and will also
assess additional locations throughout the region. The governors of
both Oregon and Washington have declared a statewide state of
Emergency operations centers are activated at the highest levels;
Washington has opened 10 shelters and Oregon has opened 6. There are
five confirmed fatalities; two in Oregon and three in Washington.
Widespread power outages are still being reported with several
hospitals operating on generator power. Washington is reporting an
estimated 45,700 customers still without power. Oregon is reporting
an estimated 56,000 without power and two to seven days before
repairs are completed.
While responding to a request for assistance from partners in the
Pacific Northwest, Convoy of Hope is also bracing for its first
winter storm of the season.
One to two inches of ice is predicted to freeze a wide-spread area
of the Midwest, reminiscent of the January 2007 ice storm that left
hundreds of thousands of residences in several states without power
A First Responder, Convoy of Hope is a National VOAD (Volunteer
Organizations active in Disaster) member and works within FEMA
guidelines during U.S. Disaster Events.
To donate to Convoy of Hope and its efforts, or for the latest
response update and other information about the organization, visit
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
K-Mart and Sears Offend Christians By Trying To Avoid Offending Other Religions
A news release from Liberty Counsel
Orlando, FL – K-Mart and Sears have intentionally renamed “Christmas trees” to “holiday trees” or simply “trees” in its advertising. K-Mart is owned by Sears Holding Corporation.
A Liberty Counsel supporter asked K-Mart for an explanation of the company’s disregard for Christmas. Vincent V., a representative from Sears Holding Corporation, responded:
The reason for our use of holiday tree is due to the [sic] Sears Holding is a very diverse company, we do not want to offend any of our associates, but also our valued customers. We decided to call them holiday trees because even if Christians are the only religion that uses a Christmas tree we still do not want complaints from other customers of different religions complaining about our use of Christmas.
What? Christmas is a federal holiday. Green, pointed, prickly trees we decorate in December are called “Christmas trees” all around the world. In the process of trying to be “diverse” and to allegedly not offend their associates or customers, Sears and K-Mart have offended their largest customer base – Christians and others who celebrate Christmas. Even the minority who do not celebrate Christmas are not offended by its celebration by others. However, Sears and K-Mart have offended their customers. Those stores are not the only choices consumers have this Christmas. In 2005, Sears received so much pressure from consumers in the midst of the Christmas shopping season that it reprinted its ads to include Christmas and rushed “Merry Christmas” signs to all of its retail outlets. Apparently, the disease of political correctness has once again infected Sears and K-Mart.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “It borders on the absurd to remove the word ‘Christmas’ from a ‘Christmas tree.’ Sears and K-Mart have offended their customer base by thinking they can profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist. The best thing for consumers to do this Christmas season is to act as if Sears and K-Mart do not exist and instead patronize their competitors.”
The Sears Holding Corporation telephone number is 847-286-2500. President and CEO Aylwin Lewis should know that his “holiday trees” are offensive to shoppers who celebrate Christmas.
For more information about Liberty Counsel’s Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign and the “Naughty & Nice” list of retailers, visit www.LC.org or call 1-800-671-1776.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The Golden Compass is promoted as the blockbuster “family” movie of the holiday season—even though it’s based on the first of three books by outspoken atheist Philip Pullman. While Hollywood insists the movie is not atheism for kids, it is reported that Pullman himself has boasted that he hopes his trilogy will “kill God.”
“Philip Pullman’s books, and perhaps this movie, are part of an atheist propaganda campaign,” says Dinesh D’Souza, author of the New York Times bestseller What’s So Great About Christianity. “They are aiming to indoctrinate young people against the religious beliefs of their parents during a time when most Americans are celebrating religious holidays.”
Monday, December 3, 2007
The following comes from the Associated Press:
The Golden Compass: Atheist manifesto for kids?
By ERIC GORSKI
AP Religion Writer
The Golden Compass, a $180-million fantasy epic coming to theaters Friday, is being condemned by evangelicals.
Based on the first volume in the award-winning trilogy His Dark Materials by religious skeptic Philip Pullman, evangelicals say The Golden Compass will hook children into books full of a dark, individualistic world where all religion is evil.
Meanwhile, some secularists complain the movie from New Line Cinemas waters down Pullman's religious critique. They feel sold out by the author, who has described himself as both an atheist and agnostic.
Starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, The Golden Compass traces a 12-year-old girl named Lyra from Oxford, England, to the Arctic to the edge of another universe, where she becomes locked in a battle between good and evil. The characters are shadowed by their own “daemons”: talking animal companions that take on soul-like qualities.
In October, the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights launched a boycott of the film, calling it “selling atheism to kids” at Christmastime in stealth fashion.
Director Chris Weitz says he cut controversial religious content to make the film more commercially viable, with the plan of being more faithful to the original material in sequels.
For instance, the evil organization dominating the world is not “the church,” as it is in the book, but the “Magisterium,” which is getting criticism anyway because it's a Catholic term.
The later books are even more direct in their religious criticism. One character, a former nun, says: “The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all.”
Pullman himself says, “I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”
Britain's National Secular Society, of which Pullman is a member, says the changes made to avoid controversy amount to “taking the heart” out of the work.
The Golden Compass arrives at a time when books by atheists are best-sellers and Hollywood studios are plumbing the fantasy genre for the next big franchise.
The Pullman series follows the release of the first movie based on Christian author C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. Both feature epic battles, talking animals, polar bears and a wardrobe. But from there, the works diverge.
Catholic author Sandra Miesel is among those who call His Dark Materials the “anti-Narnia.” Miesel co-authored a forthcoming book, Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children's Fantasy.
Among her complaints: Every clergyperson is evil and standing in contrast to the Christian belief in heaven, Pullman's afterlife consists of bodies breaking into particles and being recycled into the material world.
“If you look at what the material is about, you might find it advisable to stay home, go to another movie, or read a good book,” Miesel advises.
Other critiques have appeared on evangelical blogs and Web sites. Adam Holz of Focus on the Family, writing on the Christian ministry's Plugged In site, calls Pullman's books and the film a “deliberate attempt to foist his viciously anti-God beliefs upon his audience.”
Most diabolical, Holz says, is that Pullman's audience is children, setting it apart from another book-to-movie many Christians view as heretical: The DaVinci Code.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Emails have been circulating among Christians with concerns about the recently released movie The Golden Compass. While no one at TPE has seen the movie, we have seen enough information to believe there is just reason for concern.
Mark Earley, president of Prison Fellowship, covered this fairly in a recent BreakPoint Commentary titled, "It's Not a Hoax." To read that commentary, and for further links to relevant information, click here.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
By Kara Chase
Assemblies of God News Service
Looking for answers to your tough faith-related questions? Today’s Pentecostal Evangel can help.
Today’s Pentecostal Evangel (TPE) recently launched "Answers," a new blog-format Web site that provides answers to challenging questions about the Bible, theology and Christian living.
"TPE gets hundreds of questions in the course of a year ... and we feel that people deserve answers," Ken Horn, editor of Today’s Pentecostal Evangel, says. "So we try to answer, sometimes in the pages of the magazine. Time does not permit us to give personal attention to each question, so we hope that by building a database of answers that are posted online people will be better served."
The premise of the new interactive site is simple. "Answers" visitors submit their questions and Assemblies of God leaders, scholars and pastors contribute answers founded in the Word of God. In addition to submitting questions, the blog format allows site visitors to read previous answers, post comments and read others' comments. With these capabilities, "Answers" functions as both a resource and a platform for discussion.
Believers and nonbelievers alike are encouraged to submit questions and browse previously posted responses. The language of the answers is reader-friendly and easy-to-understand, with scripture references to encourage further study.
"We hope that people will consider these answers, and the scriptures provided, and open the door for their own study," Horn says.
The site already has questions and answers posted, but beginning in 2008, "Answers" will be updated at least once a week. The first of the year will also see the launch of other new AGblogger sites, including several contributed by TPE staff members.
According to the blog, the answers "are not 'official' Assemblies of God positions, except where noted. [They] are the opinions of the individual authors but all are believed to be compatible with official doctrine of the Assemblies of God."
Got a question? Visit answers.agblogger.org.
Posted by Ken Horn at 11:46 AM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
David and Gladys Guenther served as Assemblies of God world missionaries for 37 years in Guyana, Belize and Jamaica. Since returning to the United States in 1996, they have redirected their passion for souls into their community. Today’s Pentecostal Evangel is a trusted tool in that outreach.
Now living in Springfield, Mo., David keeps boxes of Evangels on hand for distribution during his ministry walks each week.
“I take my ‘Evangel walk’ several times each week,” he says, “leaving 300 to 500 each month in homes in the northwest section of Springfield. I find people very receptive.”
Recently David has enjoyed the help of a church friend, Jim Alread. Alread and Guenther distribute pamphlets about their church, Central Assembly, as well as the Evangels. As they go house to house, they also offer to pray with people who come to the door.
“I’ve been an Evangel reader since 1946,” David says.
Posted by Jennifer McClure at 9:38 AM
Monday, November 26, 2007
First Assembly of God in Minot, N.D., recently ordered 1,000 copies of the Fall 2007 Evangelio Pentecostal Hoy (the Spanish Today's Pentecostal Evangel) Children’s Edition. The church plans to use the issues during an outreach in Mexico.
“We’ve been going on ministry trips the last 10 years,” says Children’s Pastor Steve Ferris. “We plan to use these magazines over our next several trips. Our missions director Les Mau decided the magazine would be a great resource to share with children when our team is down there. We’re reaching some very impoverished areas, and the children just throng to us.”
“The annual children’s issue of Evangelio Pentecostal Hoy has become an effective evangelism tool in our Hispanic communities here in the United States as well as for church groups taking missions trips to Spanish-speaking countries,” says EPH Coordinator Efraim Espinoza. “Using BGMC funds available, missionaries as well are requesting large quantities of the Spanish children’s issue for their evangelism outreaches.”
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Vasthi Reyes Acosta introduces readers to the Latino tradition of celebrating Three King’s Day (Epiphany) in the first inspirational Latino novella published by Barbour. Her novella, “Gifts from the Magi,” is in the anthology A Big Apple Christmas. It is the first inspirational novella by Barbour centered on a Latino family.
Dr. Acosta states, “We as a community have so many stories to tell, our faith journey, our history of pain and struggle and triumph through Christ, the stories of our families and their celebration of faith. It is necessary to have our children see themselves reflected in books. See their culture, their heritage, and their faith in the stories they read to help them find their place in this world.”
Acosta, a Puerto Rican New Yorker, is one of three daughters born to an Assemblies of God minister, Rev. Carlos Reyes, in the Spanish Eastern District. She attends Englewood Assembly of God in Englewood, New Jersey, where she currently teaches Sunday School. She often speaks at women's conferences and weekend retreats. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Our November 25, 2007 issue features two articles by Staff Writer Christina Quick:
"Go inside and play"
As kids spend less time outdoors, a generation may be missing out on the benefits of experiencing God's creation.
"After the fall"
A day of rock climbing became a struggle for survival when Craig DeMartino fell 100 feet.
Click the player below for our TPExtra audio for this issue as Christina Quick shares her own family and rock climbing experiences with Editor Ken Horn.
Posted by Ken Horn at 2:54 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
In response to an urgent request a few years ago to provide the Chinese Fire Bible for 3 million house church pastors in China, the Assemblies of God Bible Alliance and Light for the Lost partnered together to make it happen.
On Nov. 7, Assemblies of God Bible Alliance director Herb Griffin presented the 3 millionth Chinese Fire Bible, just off the press, to an Assemblies of God representative who works with house church leaders in China. He also presented a copy to Linda Stamps-Dissmore, widow of missionary Donald Stamps who authored the Pentecostal notes for the Fire Bible (originally Full Life Study Bible) prior to his death in 1991.
This historic presentation took place at the sixth annual Fire Bible Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., attended by many U.S. pastors, district leaders and lay people who faithfully supported this project.
To date the Fire Bible has been produced in 23 language editions, and 32 additional language editions are in development.
— Janet Walker
Posted by Jennifer McClure at 7:46 AM
Monday, November 19, 2007
This year, when you’re giving thanks to God for an abundant and affordable meal around the family table, you can invite hungry children around the world to join you.
According to a 2007 study by the American Farm Bureau Federation, a family of 10 can celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for $35.68 – about $3.50 per person.
Assemblies of God missionaries and national churches can provide a nutritious meal of rice and a sauce of supplemental protein and vegetables for just 50 cents or less per meal. When you give the equivalent of Thanksgiving dinner for one person – $3.50 – you can feed seven hungry children.
As you enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with your family, let them know that your gift through AG Relief is helping feed desperately hungry children throughout the world. In this way, many children can join you and your family for Thanksgiving dinner.
To provide a meal for a hungry child, call Assemblies of God World Missions toll free 1-866-470-9514. When you call, mention AG Relief Invite the World account 863240-8 (45).
Posted by Jennifer McClure at 8:57 AM