Connecting With the Soul of the Reader

Connecting With the Soul of the Reader

Every author’s dream is to craft something that connects with the soul of the reader, transporting them into a realm beyond the black and white letters on the page. This type of experience is rare – for both the author and the reader. Hence why it is so powerful when it happens. This past Monday I had the honor of experiencing such an event for the first time as an author. I was sharing a chapter from my newest book with a local writers group when the air in the room began to change. The emotions and atmosphere shifted, moving the five of us on to a different plane of existence. It was quite simply amazing and humbling. wow…. perhaps one day I will be able to share this chapter with you all (hopefully in the form of a new book!!). In the meantime, thanks again for your support and prayers. May blessings pour down on you all....
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling

Born in Florence at the beginning of the Italian Renaissance on March 6, 1475 when “Mercury and Venus were in the house of Jupiter,” [1] Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni seemed destined to become a famous in the arts. And as fortune had it, he was able to study at the famed Garden of San Marco started by the famous patron of the arts, Lorenzo de’ Medici.[2] Michelangelo’s skill as a sculptor soon became apparent with him creating “two extraordinary bas-reliefs, the Madonna of the Steps and the Battle of the Centaurs”[3] by the age of fifteen or sixteen as noted by Thomas Cahill. However it wasn’t sculpting that would propel him into the realm of the uber famous, but rather it would be his skill with a paint brush that would set him apart. The canvas for his art, as the fates would have it, was a box-shaped chapel in Rome whose foundation was laid a mere two years before his birth.[4] The journey from sculptor to painter was not an easy one for Michelangelo. Rather it was a journey full of political upheavals, family drama, personal rivalry, and four long years perched on a scaffold bend backward staring at a ceiling. In his book Michelangelo & the Pope’s Ceiling, Ross King weaves these complex issues together into a single story showing how Pope Julius II pushed Michelangelo beyond his comfort zone and into the history books. Like most people I had heard about Michelangelo’s paintings on the vault of the Sistine Chapel and even seen replicates of famed Creation of Adam fresco. However my knowledge of these...
Experience vs. Theology: A False Dichotomy

Experience vs. Theology: A False Dichotomy

Imagine that I never talked to my wife of 16-years. No sharing of dreams, passions, likes or dislikes. Nothing. Knowing that talking could lead to miscommunication, I, instead, choose to  experience her presence through snuggling up next to her or simply by being in the same room. After all, I reason, experiencing her presence is more life changing than any conversation could be. Or so goes the common thought when it comes to God. Over and over again well-intention people pit experience against theology with a bias towards one or the other. To do this is to reduce the fullness of God, placing him inside a self-defined box where he ceases to be who he really is. Theology, contrary to popular culture, isn’t having information about God or holding to the right doctrine. Simply put, theology is the study of God – meaning that we are dong theology every time we think about Jesus, talk about Jesus, read the Scriptures, ponder the deep meanings of life, etc.  Stanley Grenz & John Franke defined theology in their book Beyond Foundationalism as the “ongoing conversation among those whom the God of the Bible has encountered in Jesus Christ.” Accordingly I love theology as it brings me closer to Jesus while also giving me a glimpse into the different facets of him. Experience, similar to theology, is another way of knowing God. Which is to say that it is a way for us to emotionally encounter the living God who actively seeks us out. Experience in this way is more than simply having a charismatic phenomena happen in, through or around you. Sadly,...
Defining Healing: A Review of Rick Richardson’s book “Experiencing Healing Prayer”

Defining Healing: A Review of Rick Richardson’s book “Experiencing Healing Prayer”

The book “Experiencing Healing Prayer” was written out of Rick Richardson’s experience as an Anglican priest helping people find healing for the soul. Rick’s own personal journey in inner healing started when he told a friend about a recurring dream about a man coming at him with a knife. His friend suggested that they pray about Rick’s relationship with the gentleman in his dream.  When they did this, Rick experienced “the healing touch of God and the blazing light of his wisdom” (page 13). That day marked a turning moment in Rick’s life as it was the start of a journey helping others experiences the healing power of Jesus. The book’s seventeen chapters can be broken into seven major sections with each part focused on a different subtopic of soul healing. The first section (Ch. 1-3) serves as an introduction to inner soul healing. From there the remaining chapters are split among the six signposts Rick proposes as guides “along the way on the healing journey” (page 33). The first signpost or second selection of the book (Ch. 4-6) is focused on God’s presence and hearing “God’s still small voice” (page 46). The third selection (Ch. 7) talks about gender identity and replaying our “diseased images and memoires” with “healed and transformed images” (page 89). Chapters 8-9 make up the fourth selection or third signpost with an emphasis renouncing unreal identities and embracing an identity rooted in Jesus. The fifth selection (Ch. 10-14) tries to get to the “roots of pain and problems, not just the fruits or symptoms” (page 12). This is quickly followed by the sixth selection...
Hanging Out In Canada

Hanging Out In Canada

Tomorrow is the big day. After years of dreaming and months of work, I will be attending my first Master’s level class at St. Stephen’s University (SSU) in St. Stephen, Canada. Yep, I am in Canada for the next two weeks attending classes. *much happiness!* I arrived in St. Stephen’s early this morning at 2 am and crashed. After a few hours of sleep, I rolled out of bed and wondered into St. Croix Vineyard Church. The two pastors of the church are also professors at SSU: Dr. Peter Fitch and Dr. Walter Thiessen. What’s cool at St. Croix is that they have an early morning Celtic liturgy service followed by a more typically Vineyard style service. I was unable to attend the Celtic service this morning due to my late arrival – but I will do so much week!!! 😀 I would ask for prayer as my allergies are going crazy. Part of it is the cats at my place of lodging; part of it is being in a different part of the country. Regardless, I really would like to be able to think and not have a foggy allergy brain. =/ hmm….what else can I say? Not much is happening at the moment… hopefully I will have some time to post while I’m here. If not, I’ll try to catch you all up afterwards. Blessings.  ...
What is Christian Salvation?

What is Christian Salvation?

I’m reading an Eastern Orthodox book for new believers when I came across an explanation of salvation that was amazing! They truly have a robust view of salvation that puts the typical Protestant to shame. Seeing how wonderful their explanation is, I have posted their explanation below for you read (with some emphasis added at certain points). I hope it will speaks to you as it spoke to me. Blessings What is Salvation? What does it mean to be saved? What is salvation in Christ? Salvation is freedom – freedom from the tyranny of self centeredness, freedom from bondage of fear and death. Salvation in Christ is being freed from myself so that I can become they person God created me to be and intends me to become. Salvation is God lifting us up in Christ Jesus. It is God giving us hope. It is God working an unrelenting work in our personalities, in our characters, in our lives.  It is God not giving up on us. Salvation according to Orthodox theology is not the state of “I have arrived. I have made it. I am saved.” Rather, it is the sate of “I am on the way. I am moving. I am growing in God, for God, with God, and through the power of God.” Salvation is Christ overcoming for us our greatest enemy which is at the root of all our insecurity, the fear of death. God does not remain aloof in the heavens while men suffer and die. He takes on a body and by death destroys our death so that now death becomes a doorway...