by Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr.
The need for the nation to pray about her problems would be high on my grandmother's to-do list. In fact, she often said, "Prayer changes things!" As a black woman who was also part Native American, she was very proud to achieve the status of licensed practical nurse.
She was a natural caregiver whose profession was simply an extension of the way her mother before her had lived out her faith—visiting the sick and shut-ins her church. Her generation saw America change because of a non-violent civil rights movement that was fueled by civil disobedience and the power of prayer. Her personal life also changed because of prayer and faithfulness. In fact, she lived long enough to see her four daughters and her 15 grandchildren all graduate from college. Two of us even attended a prestigious Ivy League graduate school, with one of her grandsons becoming the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Perhaps political liberals believe that the religious right will be emboldened or strengthened, if they are allowed to pray in public places or on special national holidays. Or maybe they believe that some form of psychological harm will befall those who are not attached to one of the many Christian denominations. Contrary to the public myths, everyone is encouraged to pray to the God of their own religious tradition. More importantly, acts of hatred, name-calling, or intolerant public jeering have never occurred at one of these prayer events.
It seems to me that the great faith of our leaders has not drawn the nation to prayer. Instead the huge needs of the nation have always driven men of faith and goodwill to pursue divine intervention. As I mused on this, I came upon a prayer offered up to God on behalf of the U.S. people in June of 1944. I have included just a snippet of this prayer:
"Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated nationwide yesterday, when my good friend, Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., wrote an outstanding article on the legacy of the civil rights leader and preacher. Click here to read and comment on Bishop Jackson's column.
Bishop Jackson is the guest editor of the January-February issue of Ministry Today, now available.
With the theme of social transformation, the issue coincides with the political season, which many are saying is the most important presidential election of our lifetime.
Because the primary season leading up to the presidential election is upon us, I wanted an issue on political activism. But Bishop Jackson exceeded expectations. He invited other outstanding authors such as Chuck Colson, David Barton and Tony Perkins to write, and the end result is something much more powerful—an issue on social transformation, which involves being involved politically. Read it and be transformed, so you can in turn transform society.
Now is the ideal time to subscribe to Ministry Today. We're currently offering a special promotion that includes a free ESV (English Standard Version) Thinline Bible with a paid subscription. Click here to subscribe to Ministry Today.
In February, we will focus our Ministry Today website and e-newsletter on the life and work of Jamie Buckingham. He was not only one of the most influential leaders in the charismatic renewal for many years, but was the editor of Ministry Today at his untimely death in February 1992—nearly 20 years ago.
Jamie, who died at age 59, was senior pastor of the 2,000-member Tabernacle Church in Melbourne, Fla., a nondenominational church he founded in 1967. He wrote dozens of books, among them the biographies of charismatic leaders Kathryn Kuhlman (Daughter of Destiny), Nicky Cruz (Run Baby Run) and Pat Robertson (Shout It From the Housetops).
If you received an iPad for Christmas, we've got an extra gift for you: Subscribe to Charisma Digital then download our free Charisma Media app. With your subscription, you'll receive a log in to view back issues as well as our most current issue of Charisma Digital.
After nearly two years of research, development and approval processes with Apple, Charisma magazine finally arrived on the iPad last month. Our vision for reaching the nations for Christ through advanced technology now continues on yet another platform.
For 24 issues, it's now only $19.95. Along with your paid Charisma digital magazine subscription, you will receive a free digital subscription for a limited time to Ministry Today magazine.
Charisma's digital magazine experience ranks among the top secular and Christian magazines. Each issue is loaded with exclusive digital-only features, videos, podcasts and photo galleries in addition to our print magazine articles.
How to get Charisma on your iPad:
2. Open the iPad Newsstand store.
3. Search for "Charisma" or "Charisma Media."
4. Download the free Charisma Media app. (Internet connection and iTunes account required.)
5. Sign in with your Charisma Digital username/password and download individual issues, with more added every two weeks.
Charisma Digital will also be available soon on other tablets, including Barnes & Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle.
Check out some links below to recent stories from Charisma News that you'll find informative and intriguing. You can also sign up to receive stories on your smart phone by signing up for the free app Charisma News by clicking here.
by Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr.
Much political noise has been made about providing grants and/or loans for higher education. For minorities, these programs are seen as invitations for full participation in the American system. Many Americans believe changing the higher education equation for minorities is the only way to "level the playing field" economically for America's minorities.
More specifically, liberals often believe solving the education conundrum is mandatory for our future. Conservatives, however, almost universally declare that the education gap can be addressed by neither federal programs nor funding. They both are probably correct in this situation.
Solving America's education gap is tantamount to our nation fighting a cobra. In cobra fighting, you have two choices. First, you can charm the cobra (typically by playing music), and prevent him from striking you today. Secondly, you can choose to attack him like Rikki Tikki Tavey, the mongoose of Rudyard Kipling fame, and solve your problem permanently. Dealing with our educational woes at the university level, while the majority of minority children are vastly unprepared for life, simply charms the cobra.
To kill the cobra of educational inequities in America, we must begin in pre-elementary school. Although we can do important work at every stage of the educational process, our problem is that no one wants to wait the 20-30 years it will take to reform a system. I want to sound an alarm concerning our urgent national need to improve the education of minority students. Further, I want to advocate that resources and focus be directed primarily at charter schools.
Let me explain. While the nation's high school dropout rate for black and Latino students is 43 percent, in urban centers like Detroit it is as high as 80 percent. This does not mean these young people will never graduate. It simply means they do not graduate on time. Unfortunately, academic failure is only the indicator of much greater problems.