Q & A with Dr. Charles Stanley

Share Dr. Charles Stanley is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and the founder of In Touch Ministries. For many years Dr. Stanley has steadfastly focused on accomplishing the work God assigned to him. As a result, Dr. Stanley has reached multitudes with the Good News about God’s love. As a New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Stanley has written more than 50 books. His teachings and writings, especially those about the Holy Spirit have had a tremendous impact on my own personal walk with God. Debra Joy: Dr. Stanley, it’s evident by the fruit you bear and the many good works that you and your ministry does, that you’re doing a lot of things ‘right’. Therefore, I’m curious to know how you start your day and I know those who read this interview will also find it of great interest. Dr. Stanley: A long time ago, I learned that there is no better start to the morning than getting on my knees, opening God’s Word, and committing my day to Him. Many times I will read the following portion of Psalm 119, “I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies. It is time for the LORD to act…Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way…Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let my iniquity have dominion over me” (vv.125-128,133). It reminds me that I belong to the Father, I need Him, He is the One that guides my footsteps, and He keeps my heart clean from sin. That’s who He is—He wants to lead us, empower us, and show us life at its very best. So it’s very important that we begin our days with Him. When we do, He energizes us physically, directs our thinking, and keeps us from getting distracted. Therefore, I would encourage everyone to start the day with intimate communion with the Father—surrendering their lives to Him hour by hour and minute by minute. And proclaiming they belong to Him completely. Debra Joy: Dr. Stanley, I’ve got a feeling you already know what my next question is. But I’ll go ahead and ask you anyway. How do you end your day? Dr. Stanley: I end my day much like I begin it—on my knees in prayer. There is an immense benefit to reading God’s Word before you go to bed at night, and asking the Father to work His truth into your life as you sleep. You invite Him to work on your subconscious mind—reprogramming your thinking, setting you free from sin, and reminding you of His unfailing presence. In fact, whenever I face a challenge and sense fear rising up in me, I write my concern on a three by five card, add a promise or principle from God’s Word, and lay it on my night table. Then, right before I go to sleep, I read the card. I do this because the Holy Spirit works through our subconscious minds. He helps us to trust the Father. And so instead of fretting over my troubles, the last thing I think when I go to sleep is, “Lord, I’m trusting You to do just as You said.” And usually I go right to sleep. Debra Joy: Sir, with all respect I ask you this next question. Would you please explain your reasons for kneeling when you pray? Dr. Stanley: I have always felt that there is something powerful about kneeling before the throne of grace because it acknowledges who God is as the Sovereign of the universe. I know sometimes people can’t kneel because of physical infirmities or what have you. But being on your knees before God isn’t just a physical stance. It is an attitude of the heart in which you humbly recognize that He is in absolute control of all that concerns you and has good plans for your life. You want to know and obey Him. And you realize that He will always lead you to make the greatest impact and experience the greatest success no matter what you’re facing. Debra Joy: Dr. Stanley, The Wonderful Spirit Filled Life is one of my personal favorites out of the more than fifty books you have written. In your opinion, how vital is the Holy Spirit to a person living a Christian life? Dr. Stanley: The Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. In fact, there is no way to live the Christian life apart from the power of the Holy Spirit—it’s impossible. We live in fleshly bodies, in a world that’s full of sin,...

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Hands of Protection

  Around ten o’clock this past New Year’s Eve night my mother and I decided to have prayer together to mark the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. Taking our seats around the dining room table, we agreed that mother would begin the prayer and I would close it. After reaching out and joining our hands together, mother began praying. At some point during mama’s prayer, I opened my eyes and was immediately transfixed by the sight of mine and mama’s hands clasped together. I really don’t know how to explain it other than to say, that in my heart, I knew that I had to have a photo of my mama’s hand clasped with mine in prayer. So without saying a word, and with minimal movement, I picked up my cell phone and took two snapshots of our clasped hands while mama continued praying. After taking the photos I closed my eyes and returned my full attention to God and to our prayer. Though taking snapshots may not sound like the ‘spiritual’ thing to do during prayer, I’m so very thankful ‘the moment was captured’ on film. You see there are some things that are priceless … and for me, the two photos of my seventy-nine-year-old mama’s hand holding mine during actual prayer is something I will treasure for the remainder of my life. After closing our prayer, my attention went back to the photos and while looking at them I was reminded of the American spiritual, “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands”. Do you remember the song? It goes like this … He’s got the whole world in His hands He’s got the whole world in His hands He’s got the whole world in His hands He’s got the whole world in His hands.     The remaining verses include: He’s got the wind and the rain in His hands (Repeat 2 more times) He’s got the whole world in His hands.   He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands (Repeat 2 more times) He’s got the whole world in His hands.   He’s got you and me brother in His hands (Repeat 2 more times) He’s got the whole world in His hands.   He’s got you and me sister in His hands (Repeat 2 more times) He’s got the whole world in His hands.   He’s got the whole world in His hands (Repeat 2 more times) He’s got the whole world in His hands. Truly we’re living in perilous times. While it’s impossible to predict with one-hundred percent accuracy the things which await us in 2014, many people believe it will be a year of far-reaching changes. Yet regardless of what the New Year brings … for the ‘sons and daughters of God’ there’s no need to be anxious or fearful, because there is good news. And that good news is that the present and future of every person in God’s family is safe and secure in God’s hands. On the other hand … those who are not in God’s family should give serious consideration to establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Why with Jesus Christ? Because that’s the only way a person can become a member of God’s family. “Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.”—John 14:6 (Amp) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.–John 10:29 My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.–Isaiah 48:13      ...

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‘In Step’ with God in 2014

    Happy New Year! Because it’s a New Year, I’d like to proclaim a blessing over you and your loved ones. The blessing comes from Numbers 6:24-26. (Amp) May the Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you. May the Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually). Recently, I asked God if I was doing what He wanted me to do with my life. Frankly speaking, I was somewhat surprised in how God chose to answer me. Instead of leading me to the Scriptures (as He usually does), God answered my question with a question of His own by asking; “What was the last thing I told you to do?” After prolonged and careful thought I replied: “Write stories.” And that was it. There was such definiteness and peace, that no further prayer was required over the matter. A few days later, God showed me a vision (image) of a person’s hand holding a small wood cross. The cross was being held in the same manner that a pencil or pen would be held when writing. I believe the vision was God’s way of reiterating that I’m to continue writing ‘Jesus stories’. What sweet assurance! To explicitly know that after writing for almost four years, I’m still in accord with God’s plan, His will for my life. How about you? Are you in harmony with God’s plans for your life? Not sure? Then get sure. Have a sincere talk with God. If you’re off track or out of step with God’s plans, He’ll tell you and He’ll gently lead you back onto the path He’s chosen for you. There’s no better way to start the New Year than to know that you’re on the right road and in step with God’s plans … His will for your life. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11   “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”—Psalm 119: 105 “And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left”.—Isaiah...

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And His Name is Jesus

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

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Celebrating Christmas~JESUS!

CHRISTMAS! A special time set aside to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus Christ, the Hope of all mankind. Jesus Christ, my personal Savior and yours too … if you’ve allowed Him in your heart. I’m telling you I get all excited just thinking about Jesus Christ and what His love has done for me. The other night while driving to town I began thanking Jesus for ‘keeping me all together.’ I’ve made no secret that I was a hopeless and broken mess of a person before Jesus bathed my heart with His love and my mind with His peace. What a difference Jesus Christ has made in my life … and that’s why I want to tell the whole world if the stresses of life are ‘getting’ to you … cry out to Jesus. If you’re on the verge of losing your mind … cry out to Jesus. If you’re desperate for a change in your life … cry out to Jesus. No one else can do for you, what Jesus can do. And that’s the truth. This Christmas, like millions of other families, my family will gather together to rejoice and celebrate the birth of Jesus. First, we’ll enjoy our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and afterwards we’ll gather together in the den for the highlight of our Christmas celebration. As usual, the children will sit in a semi-circle on the floor so that the adults can have the comfortable seats. After everyone has settled down, and a hush fills the room, a member of the family will stand and read the Christmas story from the Holy Scriptures. Then we’ll sing songs of praise and worship to God and have prayer. Celebrating Jesus with my family is by far the best part of my entire Christmas. Next comes the children’s favorite part of the evening, the exchanging of gifts and games. And that’s when the good-natured competition between family members begins. (Laughing) Last Christmas the family divided up in teams to play the ‘Human Christmas Tree’ game. The game and rules are simple. The first family to design and decorate a ‘Human Christmas Tree’ wins. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much or as hard in my life! It was absolutely hilarious as the teams moved with lightening speed adorning their ‘trees’ with tin foil, ornaments, garland, and strings of working lights. I think it was probably the best game my family has ever played.       It’s wonderful to have family to celebrate Christmas with. It’s also wonderful to know that even if you’re all alone …you can still celebrate Christmas. How uplifting it is to know that Jesus sees every person who celebrates Him and His birth. Whether the person celebrates Him with family or celebrates Him alone…Jesus is present and His love is the same for each. Christ is The Light of Christmas Christmas joy and lights aglow; Christmas songs to warm and cheer Excitement is on the children’s faces As anticipation fills the air — But for some, it can be lonely When loved ones have passed away, Memories are all that linger As the years begin to fade But Christ’s light should never dim; It should ever shine out bright Our ray of hope in this troubled world Is our joy of eternal light Christmas, when spent with Jesus, Can warm our hurting hearts, For as His light shines within us, Its glow warms our deepest parts. © By M.S.Lowndes He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.—Psalm 147:3 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.—Deuteronomy 31:6 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.—Psalms 27:10 Trust in him at all times; [ye] people, pour out your heart before him: God [is] a refuge for us. Selah.—Psalm 62:8 Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.—Isaiah 41:10 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.—1 Peter 5:7 (KJV) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.—Isaiah 53:3-4 I will not...

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