Receiving a Prophecy

In a prior post, I wrote about how to approach prophecy, but in this post, I want to take it to a different level:  the psychological processes that receiving a prophecy releases in those who take prophecy seriously. I received a word recently, and have finally come to a place in my walk where I can reflect on it a bit more objectively. I remember when I was younger, when I would receive words, I could get really messed up. I remember one time the prophet told Jaime (when we were engaged) that Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

Ministry of the Incarnation – Part II

Today I was driving in the car, and started thinking more about what it means to live as the incarnation. About two months ago I had this thought: "What if you were who God sent to save the world?" What if you thought of the entirety of God's mission as depending on you? How would it change your mindset? What if you thought of yourself like Jesus thought of himself: as a man on a mission. A man sent by God, to bring God's presence to the earth. Not just as a contributor to something larger, but as Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

Ministry of the Incarnation

God has been speaking to our team more and more about the incarnation. Jesus was God, in created form. He was incarnated. He was God on earth, and his mission was to bring God on earth. "Your Kingdom come, as it is in heaven." Jesus was bringing the kingdom by being here, first by being the Kingdom, and second by creating it in others. Now there is really a lot to this if you think about it. The direction of movement is from heaven to earth. God is bringing something to be real here on the earth. Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

The Prevailing Heart

Anyone who has spent time with God knows there is so much more in store for us than we currently experience. We all want to move forward in our relationship capacity for God and others, and yet there seems to be times that we feel like we are at a dead end. One reason we feel this way is we don't see the possibilities because we have already crossed out options in the subconscious. I'm trying to use nice words and give a deeper understanding to what we call excuses. "I can't do this because of ‘x’." Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

The Inner Court

Recently, I was reflecting on the impact of our ministry compared to the impact of other ministries. Like everyone else in a ministry context, I want to have a bigger impact than I am having. However, I don't want to have it by compromising, and yet as I pursue truth, I keep getting farther away from the mainstream positions that allow you to have a large following. And as I was sort of putting this thought before God and reflecting on those who were on the margins in terms of their beliefs and yet Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

Being Religious

We like to throw the term "religious" around a lot. It's super popular in American Christianity right now to accuse everyone of being religious. I am here to tell you that if you like to call people religious, you are religious. We think that religion is whether or not you relate to God through a set of rules, and it's true that this is one manifestation of religion, but you can religiously relate to God by no rules at all. Religion is not a system, although it is often enforced by a system. Religion Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

Growing Up Clean

When I was a young man, my father took me aside and told me that masturbation was not something to feel guilty about. This was not because he was an overly permissive man or was encouraging it, it was because he clearly didn't want me to go through a long adolescence of guilt. The funny thing about this talk was that something about it actually convinced me that masturbation was wrong. Which, I'd be sorry for my dad to know led to, well, a long adolescence of guilt. I kept making the leap between Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

Does God Test People?

I'll give you a hint. This is a trick question. Just like the word "love" the word "test" has multiple dimensions of meaning. Many ministries want to answer this question "yes" or "no" but because of these multiple dimensions of meaning, you can't just give a simple answer. You have to separate out the meanings to get a true Biblical teaching out. First, right out of the gate we know that God does not test anyone in the sense of "tempting" them with evil. The Bible is explicit in saying this in Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

Infant or Believers Baptism and High or Low Church

It has become more clear to me recently how tightly the the mode of baptism ties to your view of Christian cultural engagement, and how both of these are correlated to where you live on the high or low church spectrum. Here is the simplified version. For most of Christian history baptism was practiced on infants. Now, from a Reformed viewpoint, this is a debate about covenant theology -- are the children members of the covenant or not. From a Catholic viewpoint, its about something similar, but Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology

Eating your Spiritual Vegetables

So I have become aware that I am an excitement addict. I need things to be exciting. In fact, I come from a generation of excitement addicts. We basically have continuous entertainment opportunities all the time. We are raised from the beginning on this excitement diet. Whether it be video games, sex, food, or even things in the church the bottom line is that we want it to be exciting. This is because we were raised to chase a high. This concept has recently been ported over into the Christian world Read more [...]
Categories: Practical Theology